There are different laws and regulations that control the export, import and keeping of exotic animals. Therefore, if you are interested in the industry, it is important to understand the pertinent legislation. This will help you avoid the legal and financial repercussions related to dealing with these animals illicitly. Basically, an animal is considered exotic if it does not live naturally in country's wild. The laws restricting non-native animal trade are important because they protect the natural country against invasion by alien species. In addition, they prevent extinction of endangered species and protect citizens against dangerous animals. Here are the main legal details that you should understand before engaging in exotic animal trade.
Exotic Animal Law
The laws governing the import of live animals into the country can vary depending on the state. However, the general laws are controlled by the Quarantine Act 1908 and the Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999. These laws are critical if you are planning on obtaining a live non-native animal as a pet or even for commercial operations. The illegal import industry is notorious and cruel, so you will be charged with an offence if participate in the trade or keep an animal obtained in such a way. For instance, if you import an animal that is not declared at the port, you can serve a maximum imprisonment of ten years. It is prudent to consult an animal lawyer for guidance before attempting the exotic animal import trade to avoid these penalties.
You can import an exotic animal legally as a pet or for commercial operations if you have the right permits. The documentation should be obtained before the consignment or the government will seize your item. You should also note that there are no retrospective permits provided legally. Generally, you can get a single use or multiple consignment permits depending on the potential usage. It is also prudent to check the fees charged for the wildlife trade permits early. The amount will vary according to the consignment specifics. For instance, a household pet single use permit will attract a fee of $319.
Legal and Illegal Animals
There are animals that are likely to be allowed for legal import and others that are completely prohibited. It is important to check the official list of suitable animals for import before starting your plans. Generally, domesticated animals, fish and birds are likely to be legal for purchase and import. On the other hand, primates, reptiles, amphibians, molluscs, arachnids and rodents are unlikely to be accepted under most permits.