Your exotic experience

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I couldn't see a huge demand for them on the eastern states. How many people would spend $$$ on a species that we already have in the eastern states. Only a few people would be interested in forking out the money to keep them, not many sw carpets being kept over here for example.
Wheatbelt stimi's, Pilbara womas and such proved quite popular. I have no idea how many people would want WA Darwin's. I don't make the laws... I just know what they are.
I like the idea of wc staying in WA since we have a python import ban. I have no problem with captive bred going out though. Just means we all get a chance to keep some of the stranger specimens that are found. Once they go east we can't bring them back.


Well-Known Member
Wheatbelt stimi's, Pilbara womas and such proved quite popular. I have no idea how many people would want WA Darwin's. I don't make the laws... I just know what they are.
I like the idea of wc staying in WA since we have a python import ban. I have no problem with captive bred going out though. Just means we all get a chance to keep some of the stranger specimens that are found. Once they go east we can't bring them back.

yeah I could understand that. hopefully it will change in 5 years when they are more available in WA


Come here Squishy!
I've got a few people I know who keep Boas on International licenses. I've seen corns & other odd things in peoples collections from time to time. Not worth the hassle from my perspective, but I can understand that when these things pop up & should be euthanized why a reptile lover has a bit of a change of heart. Corns don't last long down here in a Victorian winter anyway if they've gotten out....or definitely don't last long because of feral or unrestrained domestic cats.

- - - Updated - - -

I was playing with this at the Melbourne Zoo. Who wouldn't want one? :D :lol:
how does one go about getting an international license???


I'd imagine they are just about impossible now Lawra.

They were done prior to the first amnesty I believe (maybe someone with one can elaborate further?). So people squealing that just having an exotic risks native wildlife, and what if it escapes, and...OMG etc etc etc...need to understand that like exotic birds, fish, cats, dogs & virtually every farm animal out there, it's not the horror story people make it out to be. Just like you require an advanced license to keep venomous snakes, you should be able to apply for an exotics license. You can't tell me for one second that people aren't already out there keeping native animals without a license...those people are committing a crime even though they have an avenue to do it legally. At least give people a legal option, and with that some control by authorities.

*** sorry to be a little off topic ;)


Well-Known Member
There is really only one reason why we can't legally keep some exotics. It's not because we're not big enough of a group to count either!

The green movement in Australia is enormous and will likely hammer even the slightest attempt to decriminalize exotics in Australia. This, of course, has nothing to do with the relatively minor threat posed even by corn snakes, which admittedly would pose some kind of environmental threat, even if it isn't any worse than native reptiles being released/escaped outside of their local range which it likely is not.

I would have no problem with people keeping corns provided they can provide they have experience keeping natives and have appropriate enclosures set up for their husbandry.

There are some large breeders in Australia who would like to keep exotics, but the number of large breeders who wouldn't want exotics are even larger - because they make more money and probably more friends in high places, so to speak. And the large breeders have large amounts of money to rig the committees and maintain the status quo. Those with the most capital will ensure they protect that capital, right?

Remember in 2001 there was a scare about IBD. We were on the verge of exotics being legalized after a "second" amnesty. The scare about IBD was a bunch of crap and everyone I talk to knows it was. The "second" amnesty went POOF and was delayed into 2004 when the amnesty was one where the animals were handed in and couldn't be kept.

Those behind the ban will come up with any argument they can use to further their own interests. If it isn't breeders it would be government department heads. Either way it comes down to the mighty ledger sheet, it's really all about money. Whether their arguments be disease or environmental threat. The fact of the matter is that there are far, far, far, bigger threats to our quarantine status and our environment than a small handful of people keeping corn snakes legally!

I used to be in favor of exotics, then I was opposed, then I had some revelations. Hell, some names were mentioned that I won't discuss for fear of personal safety. This is Australia and you're basically hosed if you attempt to bring down any corruption. But there is definitely corruption behind the exotics saga, make no mistake about it.

I wish I could say it wasn't true, but unfortunately it is true, and nothing anyone here says is going to change anything.

The sad part is that we could have flipped this nonsense on it's head, but I think we've missed the boat on that one. Maybe for a long time...hell, maybe even for good.
Yeah, I know. What idiots.

The same reason why exotics are banned is probably almost running parallel to the reason why cannabis is banned.
Someone, somewhere, will be making a lot of money, or a career, from the very fact that whatever happens to be illegal, stays illegal.

Hoteliers and beer breweries do not want cannabis legalized, neither do big pharmaceutical companies. Cannabis would cut into their market.
One could logically say the same thing about those in the current market in Australia. Exotics would slice into their market like a knife through warm butter.

Sad but true. It is what it is. C'est La Vie. End of discussion.


benjamind2010,, your post is basically nonsense, a conspiracy theorist's conspiracy theory. Exotic reptiles in Australia were NEVER "on the verge of being legalised," the amnesty in 1997 or whenever it was, where some NSW keepers were allowed to keep their exotics was a one-off, never to be repeated exercise, and NSW copped a lot of flak from the Commonwealth for allowing it to happen. The Commonwealth controls and manages the import and keeping of exotic (non-domestic) species in this country, and imports of exotics, as well as movement of them between facilities in this country are also tightly controlled by the Commonwealth.

There are obvious examples of why adding more exotic species to the list of whatever is already here is a bad idea. Even zoos and scientific facilities have to go through very convoluted protocols to bring new species into Australia, and all proposals are subject to a long list of tests for safety, suitability, need and pest potential. The Commonwealth does not believe (and it's obvious why) that private keepers will offer secure accommodation for exotic pets of many species, and on past evidence of escapes, thefts etc, it's easy to understand why. I can't, and you can't, benjamind2010, make any assessment of the pest potential of any exotic species in this country. History should tell us in no uncertain terms that erring on the side of caution is the wiser path.

To suggest that the ban on exotics (which you seem to think are capable of little harm) is a result of conspiring vested financial interests is just plain claptrap. Biosecurity is foremost here, plain & simple.



Well-Known Member
Hey Jamie, I agree with 99% of what you said.

I wasn't saying exotics were not capable of harm, I was pointing out that the harm they would cause would be relative to other environmental threats.
Yes, the threats could be serious. Nobody really knows, not even the experts.

But I wish that were the true reason. I know otherwise. This revelation was only recent, of course. Whoever told me could be talking nonsense, but I generally take in all information I have, and make a judgement on that, and if possible I try to work out everything before coming to any conclusion. The fact that you can keep dogs and cats and exotic birds, fish, etc. is one of many aspects of information I use to make a determination.

I prefer to keep natives anyway. I find my womas to beat corns in almost every way...and I've kept corns before, back in 1999-2002, but frankly I would find them a bit mundane nowadays considering I've got RSPs, womas, and blonde spotteds.


Active Member
I look at the problems exotics cause in the United States and am glad we have learnt some lessons from our past. Promote what we have as we really do have one of the largest array of reptiles on the planet. The exotic ban might be seen by some as a parallel to the cannabis ban but again there are strong arguments why it is so but that is best left for another thread.


Well-Known Member
I think there should be a legal way to import australian natives back into australia. That way the morphs that pop up overseas (which always turn up here) are correctly quarantined.


Very Well-Known Member
Maybe you could have these

fairly harmless
but once that precedent was set
you would end up with these too


Well-Known Member
Longqi's simple illustration with his pics and Jamie's posts have hit the nail fair square on the head.

I've been around this game for a long time and never heard of a private keeper holding an "International license" to keep exotic reptiles. That being said I am also very aware there is a select group of underground keepers in Australia that illegally hold and trade in exotics (including dangerous vens). Benjamind 2010's admission to keeping corns is testament to that.

As for conspiracy theories, I'm totally in agreement with Jamie's comment that it is "claptrap". There may be some merit with the comment that corruption may still be involved in getting exotics into the country these days but my understanding is that those that currently possess them trade in the sale of their offspring.

Hoser's book, "Smuggled" gives one an understanding of how the corruptive train ran in Australia in the early days of the hobby but just as the rise of the www has provided an easy avenue for international communication between hobbyists, it has also provided the opportunity for those wishing to import or export herps to conspire and collude to get them in and out of the country without the need to pass a graft to corrupt officials.

It would be like opening a can of worms for any federal government to even consider allowing the import of exotic reptiles. Before you know it there would be all sorts of idiots wanting to import all types of exotics animals not just reptiles. If they were to set an example by allowing this how could they justify not permitting the general public to import other animals?

I'd like to have exotics such as Boomslangs, Mambas, Cobras, Eyelash, Rhino and Asian tree vipers but accept and understand the reason that it won't happen and remain content in keeping our native species.



I'm with George all the way! I too would love to have some exotics - some of the vipers, chameleons, tortoises and other tropical stuff, but it's not going to happen.

Benjamind2010, I apologise for sounding so aggressive in my post addressing yours (just re-read it and it sounds awful!). But like George, I've been around reptiles, keepers and bureaucrats for several decades (my work brought me into close contact with decision makers during the rise in popularity of reptile keeping in the past 30 years) and I know that there never has been any consideration given to legalising the import or keeping of exotic reptiles by private keepers. I think my disappointment regarding this relates mostly to seeking different challenges with more delicate species - most Aussie herps are easy to keep, and that's great for the vast majority of "pet" keepers, but for someone like me it's frustrating because I like technical challenges, but that's just the way it is, and I'm happy to "suck it up" as they say. There are still a few keepers in NSW (& Vic?) who have exotics on licence dating from the 1997 amnesty, but they are on sunset clauses, may not be bred or passed on to others, and the licences extinguish once the animal/s die. One I know of has an old female Boa, and there are a few others.



New Member
Hi guys,
I'm not from Australia, but for what I've been reading in this thread, I see that you are not allowed to keep non-native species? I always thought you were lucky bcause you could own native and non-native species, and now I see I was wrong.
In spain, for example, it's just the opposite, you can have non-native species but not a native one as they are afraid of spoliation of the wildlife.


Not so new Member
Why would anyone want an exotic anyways we have some of the nicest natives found anywhere. And why risk damaging our own wildlife by importing. while the risk might be low it's not worth it have a look at past history carp foxes toads crown of thorns in Australia and look at the problems they have is the us from burmese pythons.
Bottom line is it worth the risk no matter how remote it is


Very Well-Known Member
i know of people that have cornsnakes,even have pics of the ones sent to me by "breeders" around kmpsy area..tried to sell me one for 550!!! lol would rather buy a nice carpet with that money or even an enclosure, i'll se if i can get the pics up
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