Experts say Island Birds were badly cared for
5 days ago, the Forestry Department, with support of San Pedro Police, confiscated 2 exotic birds from the Halliday family, who have kept them as pets for years.
Since the Hallidays publicly condemned of the Government's actions, different wildlife organizations have weighed in. All the authorities agree that the Halliday family were in the wrong for keeping the birds.
The Belize Humane Society and Animal Shelter says that they are in full support of decision made by Forest Officer Victoria Cawich when she made the decision to confiscate Gabby the cockatoo, and Gabby the Macaw.
The BHSAS says that the birds exhibited behaviour and conditions which are unhealthy. They said quote, "their cages were far too small for them, and they had medical conditions that were not being treated." End Quote.
The Belize Human Society and Animal Shelter adds that Belize's Wildlife Laws are very strict, and that these birds being housed in the country was "a biological accident waiting to happen." There is the fear that this captive Macaw could have mated with Belize's Macaw species, and by doing so, contaminated the local Macaw species.
The BHSAS adds that for Gabby the cockatoo to be kept by his owners, they needed to have had CITIES papers in their name, or some form of proof of authorized importation. The cockatoo is also an endangered species.
Last week, Forest Officer Cawich told us that the birds exhibited behaviour which suggests that they were in distress. That's the exact same thing that the Managing Director of Belize Bird Rescue told us by phone after their continued observation:
Amid all the tough criticism from the authorities, the Halliday family maintains that they've kept the birds in very good health.
Seizure of two non-indigenous birds (17 photos)
This week there was a seizure of two non-indigenous birds by the Belize Forestry department. A cross bred Macaw and a Molluccan Cockatoo. Both birds were owned by a local family who had in the past used them as educational birds in the community. The birds were certainly loved at one stage..... But... Eventually the owner fell ill and the birds were placed in a back yard where they remained. Socialisation stopped, the cages rusted. They were placed on the ground in a yard where dogs roamed. The rusting wires were not rat nor snake proof. The birds were horribly stressed. Fresh food and especially water became intermittent. Feather plucking and endless head bobbing started. But this wasn't the whole problem. The birds had no paperwork whatsoever. No CITES certificate, no breeding history, nothing at all. No import permits. They are effectively illegal immigrants. Both birds were obviously smuggled into Belize and the Molluccan may have been wild caught. Nobody knows. If the Macaw had escaped, the potential for severe damage to the last few breeding pairs of Scarlet Macaws in Belize may have been severely compromised should this cross breed have mated with them.
The Macaw had a leg band that seemed a bit home made. It was so tight that flesh was growing over the band. There were pressure sores under the band, and this was also compounded by stage two bumblefoot. The birds were then transferred to Belize Bird Rescue where they are having palliative care and lots of social interaction.
The birds were seized in a difficult circumstances. The son of the owner became aggressive and ended up being arrested by the Police. And now there is a campaign started to have the birds returned. There is a media smear offensive against the Forestry Officer and also Belize Bird Rescue.
Now we are not political. But we do absolutely fully support the Forestry department and their officers in their actions. We have ended up with them and will care for them until a decision is made on their future.
Pet Bird Owners in San Pedro Taken by Surprise and Furious at Forestry Department
Pet bird owners in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize were taken aback by the actions of members of Belize’s Forestry Department as they raided private homes and confiscated pet birds from loving families after they had announced they would not be taking away the pets from anybody. At the end of the raid, one man was arrested and pet owners sympathized with the traumatized family worrying if their pets would be taken from them.
Brian Halliday was trying to keep members of the Belize Forestry Department from taking his two pet birds, one being a Cockatoo and the other a Macaw, that the family had been taking care of for over 20 years and had grown very much attached to. They were, in fact, cared for like a member of their own family. But officials from the Forestry Department arrived to their house accompanied with police officers ready to confiscate the family’s two exotic birds.