Wildlife as Pets (long)

To: "" <>
Subject: Wildlife as Pets (long)
From: Tom Tarrant <>
Date: Tue, 20 Mar 2001 19:18:14 +1000
Would like to forward the attached from Wildlife Preservation
Association onto Birding Aus subscribers in case they are not aware of
these proposals affecting our wildlife,
Marie Tarrant, Samsonvale, Qld.

Public meetings will be held throughout Queensland this week to try to
gather support for a reduction in regulations to facilitate the
commercial and recreational use of our wildlife. So far the consultation
process has been flawed, with very few carers, or organisations,
receiving copies of the draft document. The process has been one of
selective consultation, rather
than broad-brush. On Saturday morning we received a list of where the
meetings were to take place, and only after we asked for it. It is
impossible for us to communicate with many of our members at short
notice, particularly those without email. If you have an opportunity to
attend any of the meetings, please do so, and make a stand about
protecting wildlife, not opening the door to wide-scale wildlife
exploitation. This proposal is all about looking after commercial
interests, and definitely not about
looking after wildlife. In the Maryborough Chronicle, on Friday the 16th
March, Minister Dean Wells was quoted as saying "the review would
determine if there were easier ways to cut through the red tape, while
conserving nature." We all know that he means "conserving by using".

Meetings will be held at
Cairns, Rydges Plaza, Mon. 7.00 pm 19 March
Townsville, South Bank Convention Centre, 7.00 pm Tues. 20 March.
Rockhampton, Frenchville Sports Club, 7.00 pm Wed. 21 March
Sunshine Coast, Alexandra Headline Surf lifesaving Club, 7.00 pm 22
Brisbane, Q. Cricket Assn. Pavilion and Conference Centre,. 2 pm Sat. 24
Toowoomba, City Golf Club, 7.00 pm Mon 26 March
Gold Coast, Eastern Function Room, Carrara. 7.00 pm Tues. 27th March

It is probable that these meetings will be stacked by bird breeders, and
pet shop owners. Please try to attend for our wildlife and please pass
this email on to other interested persons.

Pat O'Brien, President, WPAA Inc.
P O Box 1334 Yeppoon Q 4703
Ph 07 49397997, Fax 49397972

Some of the issues relating to the recreational and commercial use of
Captive Wildlife are listed below by Judy Elliott, also of the Wildlife
Preservation Association

Wildlife as Pets:


1. There are already numerous problems with native birds being kept in
captivity by the public.  Many people, for instance, do not realise how
long some parrots can live and the noise nuisance they can create.
2. Birds have either escaped or been released in areas where they do not
occur naturally and cause havoc to local birds and other wildlife.
Indian mynahs are a good example.
3. Captive birds could be released and spread disease amongst wild
4. There are already enormous problems with poaching of native birds and
their eggs.  This would only increase if the regulations were relaxed
and markets increased.


1. These animals are totally unsuitable as pets.   They can all bite and
scratch with considerable force as they grow older.  Macropods also
2. Very few people would be able to provide them with the correct native
foods (flora and insects) for a proper diet.
3. The joeys would need to be wrenched from the mother's pouch whilst
very young so they could be raised and sold as supposedly tame.
4. They are all nocturnal animals and are therefore at their most active
in the middle of the night.
5. They cannot be house-trained and make a considerable mess if allowed
to wander indoors.
6. They could not be kept successfully in the same household as cats and
dogs.  Toxoplasmosis carried by some cats is fatal to wildlife.
7. What would happen to them at holiday-time.  Catteries and kennels
could not care for them.  Would they be set free in the wrong habitat to
perish from predation or starvation?
8. What happens when they are sick?  Would people bother to take them to
a vet or just abandon them?  Many are easily stressed sometimes fatally.

9. How  many vets are experienced, able or willing to treat wildlife?
10. The Australian public have a dreadful record of abandoning cats and
dogs when they are no longer wanted.  A large percentage of pet owners
are already proven to be irresponsible with their cats and dogs.
Thousands of kittens and puppies have to be destroyed every year.
11. Wildlife could not simply be 'let-loose' when the novelty wears
off.  There would be potential for considerable damage to wild
populations being exposed to captive-bred animals.  Carers are currently
encouraged to only release animals close to their original habitat.
12. Which agency would be responsible for wildlife pets?  Training and
licensing breeders, pet shops and owners?  Local councils do not have
the resources to regulate the keeping and control of dogs and cats.
13. Who would stop 'weekenders' going bush, trapping animals and then
making a quick buck at the markets?
14. Has a list been compiled of the diseases that can be transmitted to
humans from wildlife?  Could the lyssavirus also be carried by wildlife
other than bats?
15. Do the public realise that some animals with access to backyards are
likely to pick up paralysis ticks and parasitic flies?  Some humans can
react very badly to tick bites and domestic pets can have fatal

Reptiles and Amphibians

1. At the moment the public are advised not to move even tadpoles from
their original area.  What would happen if frogs were released into
incorrect habitats and localities?
2. Very few people would be able to supply the correct insectivorous
diet for frogs.
3. If the licensing regulations were relaxed for reptile-keepers it
would have the potential to create enormous problems with wild
4. A recent TV show featured a man wanting regulations changed so that
he could sell crocodile hatchlings as pets for $200 each!


1. More research needs to be done on the effect of allowing the
harvesting of insects for the pet trade.
2. Bird-eating spiders harvested from north Queensland are being sold in
southern pet shops when the government does not know their status in the


This issue is solely about greed and nothing to do with the conservation
of wildlife.
The government cannot be trusted to make the right decisions in regard
to our unique and wonderful wildlife.  Two prime examples are the
importation of cane toads and the harvesting of koalas.  We are still
living with the consequences of these decisions decades later.  The
outcome of the current macropod harvesting policy will, no doubt, be
discovered in the years to come.  I know from personal experience with
the Australian public that most have little knowledge or even care about
our wildlife.

Wildlife as pets would be a complete disaster to our environment and
could never be reversed and must therefore never be allowed in

Judy Elliott
07 3425 3160

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