While the focus of this protocol is on snake diseases, many of the principles also apply to reducing the risk of disease transmission from or to other reptiles and other wildlife.
In addition to following the steps outlined in this protocol, community cooperation is essential in any effort to reduce the risk of exotic wildlife and their diseases entering Australia. There is an urgent need for the wider community to be vigilant, for example by being unwilling to purchase snakes of doubtful origin and background.
Such animals pose a serious risk to the survival of other snakes and reptiles you may have and any other collections you or your animals come into contact with. Because of the widespread trading of reptiles across Australia, an exotic disease could spread very quickly throughout the captive population. And if an exotic disease became established in the wild, it may ultimately threaten the survival of some of Australia’s unique wild reptiles.
This protocol is essential reading for the following groups:
- licence holders who keep snakes and other reptiles
- people interested in keeping snakes or other reptiles
- veterinarians who treat snakes and reptiles.