Wildlife conservation victory: Snakeman busts rogue traders and animal abusers: Gets $700 cash judgement against them.

In a major victory for animal welfare and wildlife conservation, the Snake Man Raymond Hoser has scored a major court victory against a group of rogue traders and animal abusers, following an event in 2017. On 2 September, the Croydon Main Street Traders Association (CMSTA) engaged a serial law-breaker and animal abuser, Olivia Knowles at a Father’s day event in 2017.
In September 2016, the CMSTA had booked Snakebusters: Australia’s best reptiles shows to attend their Father’s day event in 2017. Snakebusters had attended this event for some years and always been popular.
Most importantly, Snakebusters are recognized world leaders when it comes to wildlife education and animal welfare. Two weeks prior to the 2017 event, a newly licensed law-breaking wildlife displayer, Olivia Knowles, carpet-bombed CMSTA with false complaints against Snakebusters and offered her services to CMSTA.
In spite of repeated prior written warnings by the Snakeman of the likelihood of Knowles and her cohort making false complaints, CMSTA fell for the scam and cancelled the Snakebusters booking two weeks prior. They instead got Knowles and her sick and emaciated reptiles to the event.

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Knowles, is new to the reptile display business and has no recognized brand name or established reputation (except perhaps for law-breaking and animal abuse).
She has instead illegally run her business by ripping off and bootlegging the Snakeman’s brands and trademarks marketing herself illegally as “Snakebusters” and “Reptile Party”, both of which are Raymond Hoser’s long registered trademarks and have been used by him for decades.
In fact Knowles has even been taking out illegal Google adverts triggered by online searches for the Snake Man, Snakebusters, Reptile Party and Reptile Parties and telling potential clients she is in fact Hoser’s business. This is even in spite of a strict court enforceable order made in the Federal Court against her cohort in a bitterly fought case that was finalised in August 2017.
At the 2007 CMSTA father’s day event, and acting under the directions of Knowles, the CMSTA allowed her to display sick and unhealthy reptiles, which besides being animal abuse and cruelty in public was a direct breach of the wildlife demonstrators permit she operates under.
Knowles even posted on her Facebook page images of the sick and emaciated reptiles at the event. While a formal complaint has been made to the relevant government wildlife department, her cohort is clearly being unlawfully protected from criminal charges.
To make things worse, CMSTA continued to aggressively promote the Snakeman and his world class display up to and including on the date of the 2017 Father’s Day event, even in the weeks after they had made the decision to cancel the Snakeman and get the law-breaking imitator instead.
Following the 2017 Father’s day event Snakebusters were inundated with complaints of extreme animal abuse and cruelty at the event they had been advertised as appearing at. Several clients also cancelled bookings on the basis of what they saw at Croydon.
It should be noted that exactly where Knowles was displaying her sick and unhealthy reptiles were large CMSTA signs promoting Snakebusters!
CMSTA had aggressively advertised Snakeman Raymond Hoser and his world best venomous snake show with hands on reptiles for the public and instead they gave their clients sick, emaciated and abused non-venomous reptiles in a boring static display instead!
As a result of this sequence of events, the Snakeman demanded that CMSTA both cease and desist from the illegal use of his intellectual property and pay a full cancel fee for their short notice cancelling of the booking with Snakebusters: Australia’s best reptiles.
CMSTA refused to pay the cancel fee and became abusive to Hoser, even though the bookings terms and conditions clearly allowed the Snakeman to demand it.
In the Federal Court matter in 2017, Knowles and her cohort claimed bankruptcy and so avoided paying any penalties for their trademark infringement. However Bunnings, who inadvertently let the infringers operate in their stores, got lumbered with damages bills and costs measuring in the many tens of thousands, were ordered to stop allowing infringers to operate in their stores and were forced also to publish corrective advertising in the media.
Therefore to take the matter of a $700 debt by the CMSTA to the Federal Court was not cost effective as the non-refundable filing fee alone is nearly $2K.
So instead the Snakeman Raymond Hoser took the CMSTA to VCAT seeking a quick damages order. The CMSTA wasted a lot of time and money on the matter, including bringing in a law firm to fight for them, but in the end the court stuck to the facts and made an order against CMSTA.
CMSTA were ordered to pay a $700 cancel fee for unlawfully cancelling Snakebusters: Australia’s best reptiles at short notice.
The Snakeman said “In the normal course of events we wouldn’t bother chasing up such a debt, as it diverts us away from our important wildlife conservation, education and research activities, but the conduct of the CMSTA in aggressively using our brands and reputation to promote an animal abusing imitator was simply too much and we had to act.” Hoser also said “Over 50 years we have built up our brands, “Snakeman”, “Snakebusters”, “Reptile party” and “reptile parties” to be at the forefront of wildlife conservation, education and animal welfare. We cannot allow it to be tarnished by animal abusing law-breakers at a public event.
In closing Hoser said “If people want to advertise “Australia’s best reptiles” at their event, they had better make sure they have us.”
He also said “If an event organiser gets a wildlife or reptile display at their event, they must make sure that they comply with the law and that if the displayer in any way uses or bootlegs the Snakeman’s registered trademarks, they will be liable.”
In two separate trademark infringement cases at the Federal Court, the Snakeman Raymond Hoser got damages measured in the many tens of thousands of dollars from a number of secondary infringers, while in both cases the primary infringers (the wildlife handlers) pled bankruptcy, and effectively escaped without paying a cent, save for their legal bills.
The Snakeman Raymond Hoser is the world’s foremost reptile expert by all measureable criteria. He has authored nine major books, contributed to many others, published hundreds of peer reviewed scientific papers and discovered and named more species of snake and more species of reptile than any other person alive on the planet and by a significant margin. His works have been cited by others more than a million times.
Last year he successfully sued a cohort of law-breakers at the Federal Court in a case where they were shown to have illegally used Hoser’s registered trademarks and engaged in extreme animal abuse and cruelty.
In August he got court enforceable orders against them, but they continue to illegally infringe and use the registered trademarks and still engage in acts of animal abuse and cruelty.
Hoser has said he intends eturning to the Federal Court to seek durther actions against the cohort including Olivia Knowles for breaching the orders from August 2017 and yet more unlawful registered trademarks use and infringement. However the Snakeman’s busy schedule, which includes, educational wildlife displays, emergency snake catcher removals and a world-leading critically important captive breeding program for protected reptile species may delay the commencement of these proceedings by some weeks.
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This media release is dated 9 Jan 2018, the date of the relevant VCAT ruling and order.