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Dangerous turtles seized

Dangerous turtles seized Quick action by the City of Canterbury Bankstown has potentially averted an environmental catastrophe. No  

Quick action by the City of Canterbury Bankstown has potentially averted an environmental catastrophe.

After receiving a tip-off, Council informed the NSW Department of Primary industries (DPI), whose officers raided a home at Milperra, seizing 90 red-eared slider turtles and two large alligator snapping turtles.

Mayor Khal Asfour said the bust should act as a warning.

“The ownership of these turtles is a problem across Sydney and their presence in our waterways is increasing right across the state, which is worrying,” Mayor Asfour said.

“They are not native to Australia and are a danger to our environment, native animals and also residents. If they get into our waterways, they will breed and compete with our native turtles.

“We’ve been working with State Government agencies to control them and are currently installing a trap at Wiley Park, and are in the process of introducing other measures.”

While investigations are continuing in the Milperra case, breaches of the Biosecurity Act attract fines up to $1 million and or three years jail.

DPI’s Deputy Director General Biosecurity, Bruce Christie, said it is an offence to keep, move, buy, sell, breed or otherwise deal with red-eared slider turtles, unless authorised.

“The two alligator snapping turtles we removed, on this occasion, weighed 8.6 and 13.7 kilograms and are considered to be extremely dangerous,” he said.

“They are capable of delivering a powerful bite which could easily amputate fingers.

“We’re constantly on the lookout for pests, diseases, weeds and contaminants, and we thank those members of the public and councils, who are true biosecurity warriors, for reporting illegally-kept animals, offered for sale online, or have been spotted in the open environment.”

Residents who spot exotic turtles, either on private or public property, should report the sighting to Council by calling 9707 9000, while residents who have an exotic turtle in their possession, should surrender it to the DPI.

For more information about surrendering an exotic turtle, visit dpi.nsw.gov.au, email biosecurity@dpi.nsw.gov.au or call 1800 680 244. For more information on the animals you can keep as pets and how to be a responsible pet owner, visit cb.city/animalsandpets


 6/11/2018 10:29 AM