The last animal confiscated from a local pet store was euthanized

The animals were found alive in terrible conditions and after four full warnings issued to the pet store since September 2019, the SPCA obtained a warrant and, along with its sister companies in White River and Barberton, seized the animals in February 2020.

A massive social media backlash ensued after the seizure. The SPCA received both praise and negative feedback for their efforts, and question after question followed, asking what would happen to these animals now. Some of these creatures included exotic birds.

The initial response from the Nelspruit SPCA in February of last year referred to a court case that was pending at this point: “The animals are our responsibility. They are currently not available for adoption, due to the court case. Some species may be available for adoption later. All animals will be the subject of an NSPCA adoption application, and a home check will be carried out according to the specific needs of the species.

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Enter the rules for the adoption of pets here in terms of the 1993 SPCA 169 law (as seen on the Nelspruit SPCA website):

Rule 6.21
No exotic animal may be housed by a society, with the exception of rabbits, rodents, budgerigars, canaries, cockatiels and goldfish and provided that adequate enrichment and appropriate facilities are provided to promote the welfare of the the animal.

With respect to all other exotic animals, this provision does not apply where the animal can be transferred to a sanctuary approved by the national SPCA.

When this is not possible, and it is reasonably practical and / or possible to do so, that animal may be repatriated to its country of origin.

When none of these alternatives are available, the company should, with written motivation and details of the proposed environment, submit the matter to the National SPCA for them to decide whether the animal should be housed with an individual. under specific conditions or if it is to be humanely euthanized. by a veterinarian / qualified person with the required knowledge, skills and experience.

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Initially, it was believed that the Birds of Eden free flight sanctuary at Plettenberg Bay would be the solution for at least some of the birds needing homes.

Isabel Wentzel, curator of the Alliance for South African Animal Sanctuaries group of sanctuaries (including Birds of Eden, Monkeyland Plett, Monkeyland KZN and Jukani), said the NSPCA and Nelspruit SPCA had been in contact with her about these birds.

The email trail begins in June 2020, but the contact stopped at one point, however, and Wentzel said the last time she heard about the SPCA was on November 3 of the last year.

“I received emails from different people asking if we could take the birds and I confirmed, after establishing the species, which birds we can take in Birds of Eden.

“I informed them of the possible route of CemAir (CemAir Ltd is a private airline operating in South Africa) as they could fly from Mbombela. Otherwise, they had to bring them to Johannesburg to transport them via CemAir to Plettenberg Bay. “

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She could have collected two sun conures, three herbivorous parakeets as well as doves and finches. She couldn’t take the cockatoo though.

“The communication of November 3 was the last communication I had regarding birds. No birds have been sent from Nelspruit SPCA to Birds of Eden to date.

Now, a source close to the organization has confirmed that the last of the birds that could not be relocated had been euthanized a few weeks ago.

The SPCA declined to answer questions and said the NSPCA advised them not to comment at this point because “the matter is pending and we cannot discuss it now. This can jeopardize the case and our goal is “justice” for the animals, ”said Lize Pienaar of the Nelspruit SPCA.

“All I can say is that a file has been opened for violations of the Animal Protection Act and is currently in the hands of the investigator.”

Another organization, Laat Waai Papagaai (LWP), offered to help find homes and also help pay for the costs of some birds, but LWP’s Ilse Meyer said they encountered uncooperative attitudes and the SPCA did not want to accept their help. .


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