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Re: A Battle Over Birds On San Pedro [Re: Marty] #494249
08/04/14 05:10 PM
08/04/14 05:10 PM
Joined: Mar 2003
Posts: 2,160
San Pedro
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Phil Offline
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Phil  Offline
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Lately this hasn't happened much.............but. I agree with Chris.

The Birds removal was handled very poorly. There is, from the chats I've had around town, a feel of victimisation from locals who feel it was a sting. People think they were lured to a meeting to explain how owners could apply for licencing and then confiscation started from that list. Might be completely incorrect but that's the feeling I've heard multiple times and respect for the Dept is probably irreprable.

The parrot (Keppi in particular) was rightly or very likely wrongly owned, poorly or well kept - Eddie has often got green Guava from my yard for Keppi - but it has been in his house for 20 years? That's like a child into adulthood being taken time wise. How old is Brian? Does he even remember not having Keppi. I'd have got riled if someone came and took my Dog (my king of animal) for some similar reason. Was there even a law for this when they got the bird that long ago? Immaterial. Removal might well have been correct, but show some compassion. Not heartless, on the phone, grab a 20 year old loved one.

Then it gets worse.

Rigrat comes on and while obviously passionate about the subject, wades in with little thought and probably harms the Dept way more than he helps it. Rather than put forward a balanced expert opinion on why it was the correct move, he loses the plot and lambasts a respected hard working San Pedrano family and pretty much shames them in public. Well played Sir.

Also a poor approach. I have several friends here who highly respect RigRats work and have often talked of him. Perhaps you should consider looking after the birds and leave the talking to someone who's better at it.

Good work though with looking after and rehabilitating rescue Birds - respect on that front.

Re: A Battle Over Birds On San Pedro [Re: Marty] #494257
08/04/14 10:25 PM
08/04/14 10:25 PM
Joined: Sep 2009
Posts: 82
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Rigrat Offline
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Rigrat  Offline
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There was zero victimisation.

Belize Bird Rescue manager (Celisha Guy) was going back to the Police station with Victoria Cawich (Forestry wildlife officer) and a Police officer, after a meeting, when they heard a Macaw squawk. As it is illegal to have a Macaw in Belize unless you possess the correct paperwork, the Forestry Officer knocked on the door and asked to see the birds. I don't know if they were immediately granted permission, I think they were, but when the condition of the birds was seen, and when no paperwork could be produced for the birds, a decision was taken to confiscate them.
No people have been lured to a meeting. The meeting was held as a forum to explain that older indigenous that were well kept could be licenced, young birds freshly poached could not be, and nor can any Macaw unless it has breeding and import paperwork as well as a health certificate. Belize Bird rescue is involved because every bird that will receive a licence needs to be examined by a qualified Avian Technician, (Celisha Guy) the bird will need to be banded with a GOB leg band, and the minimum standards for care have to be seen to be in place. We provide this service free to bird owners, and to the Belize Government.

We do not issue the licences, that is the government.

The only lists that are in existence are a list of people wanting a licence for their birds. They will get a visit and a licence issued if the standards are met. Otherwise the bird will be confiscated.

I don't make these rules, I take no part in enforcing them other than to ensure that wildlife is not harmed in the process.

This decision to confiscate was not taken by Belize Bird Rescue, it was a Forestry and a Police decision. Belize Bird Rescue personnel have no authority whatsoever to confiscate anything. However we do fully and unequivocally support the decision. The birds were receiving substandard care as clearly shown in the photos.

Objections were made by the Hallidays, and a discussion went on for over an hour and a half in a very calm and structured manner. Then Brian Halliday turned up and BBR manager, Forestry officer, and Police officer were told to leave the premises. The Hallidays were informed that they would leave only with the birds. Then things started to get a bit rough and more Police were called.

Brian Halliday greatly inflamed the situation and it got ugly.

Please do not try to equate this incident as being like a child snatched from a family. You don't keep a child neglected in a cage walking around in its own faeces without food and water. You don't keep a child in a house where you know a predator could harm them because you can't be bothered to fix their means of entry.
As for me lambasting the Halliday's, it is quid pro quo. I didn't start it, but the jungle drums are beating with disinformation. We are receiving serious threats. I think that I should be allowed the right of reply no?

As for the balanced reasons why these birds had to be seized? I think that those were clearly outlined in my first post, and then repeated in my second post in numbered order. instead of taking me to task, perhaps a revisit to previous posts is in order.
The result of this was threats to me, my home, my family, and to my staff as well as a huge amount of totally incorrect and ignorant postings on facebook, and various forums. Nobody has been lambasted and I did refrain at first from naming names. But the truth will come out in the end. Ridiculous statements saying that the birds were injured during the seizure and then we consequently plucked the bird at Belize Bird Rescue have to be countered. The birds are absolutely fine, they are now clean, they are receiving a proper diet, and have toys to play with and are being socialised which they enjoy greatly.

Re: A Battle Over Birds On San Pedro [Re: Marty] #494261
08/05/14 04:58 AM
08/05/14 04:58 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 74,781
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

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Marty  Offline OP

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.

Channel 7


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.


Re: A Battle Over Birds On San Pedro [Re: Rigrat] #494277
08/05/14 09:52 AM
08/05/14 09:52 AM
Joined: Dec 2000
Posts: 963
Fishers, Indiana UISA
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lovey and thurston Offline
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lovey and thurston  Offline
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Stop posting more pictures to support your case. We saw them and have seen that this might have been justified. You will not achieve anything but more resentment if you continue to post . Let it rest, you have the birds in your protection. Enough!


R.B. Mernitz
Re: A Battle Over Birds On San Pedro [Re: lovey and thurston] #494359
08/07/14 06:17 AM
08/07/14 06:17 AM
Joined: Sep 2009
Posts: 82
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Rigrat Offline
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Rigrat  Offline
R
Originally Posted by lovey and thurston
Stop posting more pictures to support your case. We saw them and have seen that this might have been justified. You will not achieve anything but more resentment if you continue to post . Let it rest, you have the birds in your protection. Enough!


No more pictures have been posted. Why have you asked me to stop posting more pictures? There may be some resentment but actually there has in general been overwhelming support for the action taken by the government.

Re: A Battle Over Birds On San Pedro [Re: Marty] #495550
09/10/14 02:16 AM
09/10/14 02:16 AM
Joined: Sep 2009
Posts: 82
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Rigrat Offline
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Rigrat  Offline
R
In an update to the situation with these birds.

On Monday Belize Bird Rescue had a visit from an employee of the Forestry department. He had a letter signed by Marcello Windsor the deputy chief of the Forestry Department that instructed us to hand over the birds. There was no prior warning which would have been great, as it would have given us a chance to prepare the birds and calm them down.

After checking the veracity of the letter, and after several false starts, (no travel cages, no personnel experienced in bird handling, Travel cages that were far too small etc.) the birds were removed from our care and handed back to the Halliday family. Their method of removal was videoed and I have to say was a little brutal. We will be taking this up with the Forestry department as it was unnecessary to act in this fashion.

However on an extremely bright note, the Hallidays have taken great strides to improve the caging for the birds, and have welcomed advice on the future care. The birds will be issued retrospective permits,and hopefully the birds will have long and happy lives under their care. Taking care of parrots is not easy, and it is always expensive. The Hallidays are well aware of this and appear very willing to do whatever it takes to make the birds happy.

So all in all I think it is a great result for all concerned.

Re: A Battle Over Birds On San Pedro [Re: Marty] #495579
09/10/14 11:38 AM
09/10/14 11:38 AM
Joined: May 2000
Posts: 1,191
San Pedro Town
Chris Offline
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Chris  Offline
Excellent!

Re: A Battle Over Birds On San Pedro [Re: Rigrat] #495584
09/10/14 01:42 PM
09/10/14 01:42 PM
Joined: Mar 2001
Posts: 2,718
Illinois, Arkansas,South Dakot...
bywarren Offline
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bywarren  Offline
Would seem like the final outcome is reasonable. Too bad calmer heads and better reasoning wasn't used from the start.

Re: A Battle Over Birds On San Pedro [Re: Marty] #495620
09/11/14 07:57 PM
09/11/14 07:57 PM
Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 166
Ontario,Canada
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Welland Offline
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Welland  Offline
W
Hope it all works out for everyone especially the birds.

Re: A Battle Over Birds On San Pedro [Re: Marty] #495766
09/16/14 06:49 PM
09/16/14 06:49 PM
Joined: May 2000
Posts: 1,191
San Pedro Town
Chris Offline
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Chris  Offline
Proof that "When it comes to real wildlife conservation, Belize is completely faux." //ambergriscaye.com/forum/ubbthreads.php/topics/495645/Hol_Chan_loses_PACT_Grant_for_.html#Post495645

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