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Last updated : 01/04/2007

This page is indexed on our home page under Aspect: 10. Natural Environment and the Section: Threats to Indigenous Reptiles

Smuggling of our reptiles into the pet trade.

There have been some published cases where our natural heritage is being stolen and illegally exported and we have further reading on this. However, we also have the casual plundering of our natural heritage by active participants in our hobby, who often openly discuss the reptiles that they have captured in the wild, on the reptile discussion forums. Youngsters reading this think that this is a great idea and may be tempted to do the same. General public pick up tortoises and attempt to keep these at home without any idea of what is entailed. This is not clever and is not responsible behavior.

Do we honestly think the Nature Conservation officials do not visit the forums and see what is going on, and just ignore what they see. I am sure it concerns them greatly and is one reason why they attempt to introduce legislation to prevent it from happening, and yet when they do so, we all get upset.

Let us all be responsible and work together.

Obvious by its absence in South Africa is the trend that exists in the rest of Africa, Indonesia and South America, in which reptiles are ranched to satisfy the demand that exists for animals for use in the pet trade or skin trade. One would think that in an organised commercial trade the control is a lot easier, although not totally free of problems.

   Further Reading

Thieves are plundering our heritage By Melissa Wray

Four 'Czech mated' on tortoise theft

Net closes on flora and fauna smugglers

Undercover Agent Puts the Sting on Reptile Smugglers. (1 November, 1997)

Carte Blanche - Mnet -  Animal Underworld   or BBC

The New York Times   The Animal Smugglers



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Last update : 01/04/2007