Wildlife trafficker's jail term reduced

A wildlife trafficker who bundled native animals in toy trucks and speakers before attempting to post them overseas has had his "unreasonable" jail term cut.

Zheyuan Qiu, 34, pleaded guilty in the NSW District Court to 19 counts of attempting to export live native animals and being in possession of a controlled species.

He was handed a five-year jail term in February 2021 for attempting to post 17 packages containing 48 reptiles stuffed inside speakers, toy trucks and other household items bound for Hong Kong and Taiwan.

The NSW Court of Criminal Appeal on Friday re-sentenced him to three years and 10 months, with his non-parole period reduced by 10 months to two years.

Appeal Court Justice Richard Cavanagh, backed by justices Robertson Wright and Fabian Gleeson, said the previous sentence was "unreasonable or plainly unjust".

"There was no international travel or scoping work. The applicant appears to have been responding to Facebook inquiries," he said.

During the original sentencing hearing, Qiu said he had a low income and was motivated to earn extra cash to support his family in China, despite agreeing that he was committing acts of animal cruelty.

The animals sent through the postal service included shingleback and blue-tongue lizards, a red-bellied black snake, carpet and diamond pythons and several turtle species.

On two occasions, border force officers found animals which had died from dehydration.

Justice Cavanagh noted that despite Qiu attempting to export a number of native animals over 14 months, the crimes fell below the "mid-range of objective seriousness".

"Whilst the number of specimens sought to be exported on each occasion was only small, the applicant engaged in repetitive attempts to export," he said.

Qiu's accomplice Ut Lei Lei was handed a two-year community-based sentence.

Former federal environment minister Sussan Ley said at the time of the original sentences that they followed a two-year investigation into criminal syndicates involved in native wildlife smuggling.

"The details of this case are horrendous and unfortunately all too common," she said.

"Native Australian reptiles are highly sought after overseas in what is a dangerously lucrative market supplying ventures such as overseas pet shops that exclusively sell Australian reptiles."