Thanks to NSW DPI for sharing this story with us and showcasing the importance of reporting any illegal exotic pets to authorities.
In late September, NSW DPI Compliance Investigations Officers executed a search warrant at a residential property in south-western Sydney seizing 90 Red-eared slider turtles and 2 Alligator snapping turtles.
The Red-eared slider turtle is listed by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) as ‘one of the world’s worst invasive alien species’.
As a reflection of the biosecurity risks it presents, the Red-eared slider turtle is classified as a Prohibited Dealing under the NSW Biosecurity Act 2015.
The success of this operation was due to the collaborative efforts between NSW DPI, Greater Sydney Local Land Services and the NSW Police Camden Rural Crime Unit.
Dr Michelle Christy, the National Incursions and Prevention Facilitator for the Centre for Invasive Species Solutions based with the WA Department of Primary Industries and Regions emphasised the importance of our biosecurity role in protecting our native wildlife, agriculture and the community from invasive non-native animal species
“Apart from killing native animals and spreading disease, illegally trafficked turtles are often subjected to inhumane conditions, resulting in significant trauma and unacceptable levels of mortality,” Dr Christy said.
The investigation is ongoing and is likely to result in further enforcement action.
(image supplied by NSW DPI)