Appropriate sentence for taxidermist convicted of largest Australian wildlife possession
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On 24th March 2017 a Darwin NT taxidermist, Keerthi Esrawan, was given a 10-month suspended gaol sentence in the Magistrates Court. Over 1000 different body parts, including both local and international protected species were found in his possession. These include brolgas, koalas, emus, green turtles, pelicans, cockatoos and various snakes. Apparently some are at risk of extinction. This has been described as the largest haul in Australia.
The case against him was brought by the NT Parks and Wildlife Commission who are "disappointed that the sentence was wholly suspended. The Commission was shocked to discover the sheer scale of the offending and the amount and diversity of wildlife involved (91 different species were seized)."
Our wildlife deserves to be protected. It is unique and precious. This sentence is a mockery of Australian law in relation to wildlife protection. The NT Government presented a case against him and yet a local magistrate has the capability of virtually dismissing this crime.
There is a risk that this sentence will encourage others to commit similar offences, as the consequences of their actions may also be treated lightly.
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