On Wednesday night, a bird loving family in San Pedro Town were in a uproar after officials from the Forestry Department accompanied by Police confiscated their pet birds; birds they have loved and cared for over twenty years.
The incident caused quite a stir on the island, since the family claims that their approach to confiscate the exotic birds were based on lies they told residents on the island in their education session held on Wednesday morning. Officials at the Forestry Department told us that because the birds are exotic animals not native to Belize, proper documentation was needed for the family to keep them. Since the family were unable to supply the officials with documents, they were taken away as per the Forestry laws in wildlife.
After the incident unfolded, a confrontation ensued between police and Brian Halliday, son of Edward Halliday, who owned the birds. These images sent to us by Forest Officer, Victoria Cawich identify the birds as a white cockatoo named Gabby and a milligold macaw named Keppi. The family maintains that they have cared for the birds for over twenty years but could not show documents of importation.
And while the birds are in Forestry’s care, they along with Belize Bird Rescue were on the island to share information with residents about the licensing process of parrots. Those residents in San Pedro who have any such birds will be allowed to register and comply with the law, and keep their pets.
Cawich added that in the case of the Cockatoo and the Macaw, they aren't native birds and so, it is illegal to own them because they were likely smuggled into the country.
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