The Federal Government is fighting for greater protection of 127 Australiannative reptile species from international smugglers.

Sussan Ley, Minister for the Environment, has listed 127 native reptilespecies for inclusion on the Convention on International Trade in EndangeredSpecies of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) list in an attempt to stem “cruel andabhorrent” smuggling.

“Sadly, our reptiles have become a major international target, and while Istress very clearly that it is already a crime under Australian Law to exportthese animals without specialised permits, this listing will secure additionalinternational support for their protection.”

Species listed include the shingleback, pygmy blue tongue lizard, waterdragon, and spiny tailed gecko, with Australia’s submission set to becomeincluded in the convention’s official list in mid-2022.

“Government agencies continue to track down networks of serious wildlife crimeactivity and to hand out severe punishment to perpetrators.

“Over the last two years my department’s Environmental Crime Unit hassuccessfully seen the conviction of 11 people on wildlife trafficking chargeswith a total of almost 27 years imprisonment,” said Ley.

Currently the maximum penalty for wildlife trade offences under Australia’sEnvironment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 is 10 yearsimprisonment and $222,000 for individuals.

The listing represents one of the largest from any State Party in CITES nearly50-year history.

Tagged: Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Faunaand Flora, reptile smuggling

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