Wildlife import warning after wolf pelt seizure

Picture: Stock image.
Picture: Stock image.

A WOLF pelt has been seized in Perth after a man tried to import it from Canada without the right permit.

The pelt, which includes the snout and paws, was bought by the man while he was on holiday.

It was intercepted by Australian Border Force officers at a Perth parcel courier depot last week and will now be destroyed.

The ABF said warned that Australians attempting to import wildlife items must abide by strict border controls or risk prosecution.

Although the pelt had been declared it did not have the appropriate import permit as required under Australia’s commitment to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).

The wolf pelt has been destroyed. Picture: ABF

The convention aims to ensure that international trade in specimens of wildlife does not threaten their survival. It accords varying degrees of protection to more than 35,600 species of animals and plants through regulating trade in these species.

The ABF administers border controls in relation to wildlife trade on behalf of the Department of Environment and Energy.

The northern and southern grey wolf sub-species are not listed as a Species at Risk in Canada, but can only be caught or hunted with a permit or licence.

Acting Superintendent Paul Barfoot from ABF Customs Compliance Operations said it was the importer’s responsibility to ensure that all permit requirements are met prior to the importation.

“In this case no permit had been issued from the Department of Environment and Energy, which is the authorising body responsible for issuing such permits under CITES,” he said.

“On this occasion, because the pelt was declared, the man will receive an official warning and loss of his item.

“But the community should be aware that offences relating to the importation of CITES listed wildlife under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 carry a maximum penalty of 10 years imprisonment and a fine of up to $210,000.

“The Australian Government is fully committed to playing a lead role in the global regulation of the trade in wildlife items.”