The Australian Greens are calling for an immediate halt to the export of native animals, and an independent inquiry into how hundreds of endangered and rare Australian birds have been exported for sale.
“Reports this week that rare and endangered birds are being sold to shady dealers, with the approval of the Federal Government, are shocking and must be independently investigated," Greens Environment and Trade spokesperson Sarah Hanson-Young said.
“Allegations that hundreds of Australian birds have been exported into the hands of a criminal convicted of kidnapping and fraud are very serious.
“Not one more shipment of animals should leave our shores until we know who is responsible for the gross misjudgement that has allowed rare Australian birds into the hands of this kind of organisation.
“What on earth is going on inside the Environment Department and the Minister’s office that has allowed this to occur? The Minister must outline what her office, and her predecessor, knew and what she is doing to fix it.
“Australians have every right to be angry that our endangered animals are being sent overseas and potentially sold for huge profits.
“Australia continues to fall short of our obligations to protect our endangered species. To find out some are being sent overseas to make millions for criminals is appalling. The Government must be held to account."