SPCA Secures Court Order to Rescue Neglected African Grey Parrot from MP’s Property

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In late April 2024, the SPCA responded to a complaint regarding the living conditions of dogs on a property owned by a now member of the Parliament in the National Assembly. During the initial inspection, the owner denied our Inspector access and instructed him to return later that day. When the Inspector returned, the conditions appeared to be in order, suggesting the owner had hastily cleaned the animals’ living spaces. However, the Inspector noticed an African Grey parrot with severe feather loss, prompting a written warning for the owner to have the bird examined by an exotic bird veterinarian.

The owner complied, and the veterinarian provided recommendations to improve the bird’s condition and alleviate stress. Despite this, the SPCA faced resistance when attempting follow-up inspections. The owner accused the SPCA of harassment and refused to comply with the Inspectors. After a lengthy discussion, the owner reluctantly agreed to a specific inspection time, warning our Inspector to “tread very carefully.”

Our Inspector arrived at the agreed time, only to be denied access once again. With the owner’s non-compliance, the SPCA approached the Mitchells Plain Magistrates Court on 2 July 2024, and obtained an order in terms of Section 8 of the Animals Protection Act 71 of 1962, read together with Regulation 468. Section 8 of the Animals Protection Act allows Inspectors to secure a court order if an owner or occupier refuses access.

Armed with the court order, our Inspectors, accompanied by the South African Police Service, returned to the property. The owner was informed of the court order but responded with threats, claiming the Inspectors “do not know who they are dealing with.” Despite this, our team proceeded with the inspection.

Upon examining the African Grey parrot, it was clear that the bird’s condition had deteriorated. The owner had not followed the veterinarian’s advice, and the bird was living in filthy conditions with an unsuitable cage, adding to its stress.

Consequently, the SPCA confiscated the parrot and took it to an avian and exotic veterinarian for further examination.

The avian veterinarian’s findings were alarming:

    • Radiographs indicated a respiratory infection and osteoarthritis.
    • Blood tests revealed elevated creatine kinase, mild haemolysis, and low bound calcium levels.
    • The bird was suffering from musculoskeletal pain and required ongoing pain medication, treatment for the respiratory infection, calcium supplementation, a proper diet, adequate sunlight, and a suitable cage.

The veterinarian concluded that it was inhumane to keep the bird in such conditions, as untreated, the bird would continue to suffer.

The SPCA is committed to ensuring the welfare and well-being of all animals. No one is above the law, and we pride ourselves on operating within legal parameters to protect animals in need.

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