DNA tracking of native wildlife will be among the options to be implemented, following an independent review of Australia’s wildlife trade permit approvals.
Minister Ley ordered the KPMG report into export wildlife licences to ensure adequate protections are in place to thwart dodgy dealers and exporters seeking to profit from trade in native species both here and overseas.
“It is important that we are setting the highest possible benchmarks in the regulation of wildlife trade,” Minister Ley said.
“My department will be cracking down in all areas covered by the report to ensure we have the strongest systems in place.
“As we work through the recommendations of the Samuel Review of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act with stakeholders, wildlife exports will be a key discussion point.
“The growing involvement of organised crime in the trade, sophisticated international trading operations and the soaring value of Australian wildlife on black markets, some of which can sell for tens of thousands of dollars, underline the need to send the strongest possible deterrent.
“Already in the last twelve months we have secured a number of convictions and prison sentences for wildlife trade offences.
“The message for those who break the rules is that if you are caught you will go to jail, and the steps to emerge from this work will ensure that you will be caught.”
Minister Ley requested the commissioning of the report by the Department following speculation around licensed bird exports.
The report found that there was no wrong doing by departmental officials, and no evidence of criminal behaviour in relation to export licences but did identify a number of recommendations to strengthen the way wildlife trade is regulated by the Department.
The Departmental Secretary has accepted all recommendations contained in the report.