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Britain's biggest bird market - coming to a town near you?
Posted 1 May 2004
In March, we were informed by Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council that - despite the enormous level of protest last year - the organiser of the annual Cage & Aviary Birds market at the National Exhibition Centre (NEC) had submitted an application to licence a further event. Soon after, however, the application was withdrawn.
We do not know if and when this market will re-surface but we will ensure that any local authority faced with an application is fully briefed on the scale of the problem they will be inheriting.
Our evidence - compiled from last year's event in the form of a written report and DVD - shows traders flagrantly disregarding the law, basic standards of animal husbandry and commonsense hygiene. An animal welfare alliance of Animal Aid, the Captive Animals' Protection Society, the Environmental Investigation Agency and Birds First has provided enough evidence to Solihull MBC for them to commence prosecutions against the individual traders, the organisers and the venue.
Birds First - an organisation campaigning to stop illegal sales of birds - carried out random test purchases at the NEC market held last December. Of the three parrots purchased, one Senegal bird was found to be suffering from an advanced stage of the sometimes fatal disease, psittacosis. Following expert veterinary attention, we are happy to report that he has recovered and now shares a large aviary filled with trees with another of the rescued parrots - the best life that a wild-caught bird in captivity can hope for. Tragically, the third parrot - a handsome black-capped conure - has since died of heart failure. Almost certainly the stress and strain of capture, transport, confinement and handling featured heavily in the animal's demise.