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Tuesday, 4 May 1965

Item 1, Part 1 of the Second Schedule to the Customs (Prohibited Exports) Regulations prohibits the exportation of " animals and birds native to Australia, skins of animals native to Australia and plumage, skins, eggs and eggshells of birds native to Australia " unless the consent in writing of the Minister for Customs and Excise has first been obtained.

In terms of this Item the following restrictions apply to animals and birds whether taken in their native state or bred in captivity:

(a)   exportation of koala bears, platypuses and lyre birds is totally prohibited;

(b)   exportation of skeletons, skins, plumage, etc. of koala bears, platypuses or lyre birds may be permitted only for scientific purposes;

(c)   exportation of other species of animals and birds native to Australia may be permitted only for bona fide zoological purposes. (Genuine household pets being taken overseas by passengers may be excepted from this restriction);

(d)   exportation of skins, plumage, skeletons, etc., of fauna covered by (c), above, may be permitted provided such fauna has been legitimately taken in accordance with State law; and

(e)   when exportation is permitted it is subject to compliance with requirements laid down by the Department of Customs and Excise in respect of housing, feeding and watering en route.

An intending exporter is required to produce to the Collector of Customs evidence that his application has been approved by the appropriate State Government authority.

Because it has been found that some overseas zoos trade commercially in animals and birds, intended exportation for zoological purposes is regarded as " bona fide " only when certain conditions are met, e.g.:

(a)   the recipient zoo is a public zoo in the sense that it is owned or managed 'by a government department, instrumentality or body such as a trust and is a non-profit making concern; (b)the recipient zoo is suitably equipped to house Australian fauna under proper conditions for the purpose of public exhibition;

(c)   the recipient zoo does not engage in commercial trading in fauna; and

(d)   the Australian fauna to be exported comprises only surplus zoo stock owned by an approved Australian zoo and has not been purchased or trapped specifically to fulfil export orders.

Since these proceedings are being broadcast,I should like to say, in short, that I will not give my consent in writing for the export of fauna unless certain conditions are complied with and the export is strictly on a zoo to zoo basis - from a zoo in Australia to a zoo in another country. Approval will not be given, in any case, where commercial interests are involved, and will be given only where export is for zoological purposes.

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