Why are chinchillas banned in Australia?

Australia’s Ban on Chinchilla’s

Australia has a ban on chinchillas because they are considered a pest. These animals could be harmful to Australia’s ecosystem. Anytime a foreign species is introduced to an ecosystem that is not their own, it could have disastrous results for native animals, plants, and the habitat. Chinchilla’s are native to South America and are not native to Australia. There are many examples where a foreign species is introduced to an environment and completely takes over. Oftentimes these invasive species have the potential to cause the extinction of other native species. As a result, Australia has taken a proactive approach to protect its environment.

Potential to Spread
Oftentimes, pets escape due to improper care and poor cage construction. It is common for pet owners not to provide the proper care for a pet or do not have enough money to take care of the animal. Instead of giving these animals to other people or animal shelters, these people decide to release the animal into the wild. Once these animals are released into the wild or escape captivity, they can breed and become large feral populations that can potentially be dangerous. As a result, chinchillas are labeled as an invasive species in Australia and are considered to be a danger to Australia.

It is Illegal to Own a Chinchilla in Australia

Not only is owning a chinchilla in Australia is irresponsible, but it is illegal as well. The Biosecurity Act of 2014 prevents people from owning potentially invasive species such as chinchillas. This Act obligates Australian citizens to take reasonable and practical measures to minimize biosecurity risks. A violation of the Biosecurity Act can result in stiff fines. In extreme cases, people can be arrested for violating environmental laws.

Waste of Money

Invasive species are a danger to the ecosystem in Australia, which costs money to fight. Invasive species cost the Australian government a ton of money to try and manage these creatures. These costs total hundreds of millions and even billions of dollars. It is much cheaper to prevent a disaster from occurring than to fix it. These wasted resources used to eliminate an invasive species could be put in other areas such as education and other beneficial programs.

Potential For Disease

Chinchilla’s could also bring new infectious diseases to Australia. These diseases can be passed to humans, and many veterinarians actually advise against keeping these animals as household pets. A zoonotic disease is an example of one of these diseases. The zoonotic disease causes inflammation in the brain, fever, confusion, and extreme violence. Chinchillas tend to be easily scared are skittish. As a result, it is not uncommon for these animals to bite people. Animal bites from any creature can easily transmit disease between animals to people. Also, these bites can spread disease and need to be properly cleaned.

Final Thought

The facts in this article are the Australian government’s opinions and arguments, not my thoughts or opinions!

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