Two toucans sit on tree at an unidentified zoo. (Pixabay.com)

Two toucans sit on tree at an unidentified zoo. (Pixabay.com)

BC SPCA calls for ban on exotic animal trade after 50 parrots, toucans pass through YVR

One toucan was found dead and several others were without food

Fifty parrots and toucans heading to Japan from Guyana were held at Vancouver International Airport in December – sparking calls from animal wellness advocates for Canada to end international and domestic trade of exotic birds and other wild animals.

In early January, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency confirmed to the media that the birds should not have been allowed to enter Canada, which made them subject to be removed from Canadian soil. However, it’s unclear if the birds were sent back to the country of origin or to the intended destination.

BC SPCA said Friday that one toucan was found dead and several others were without food.

Sara Dubois, chief scientific officer for the BC SPCA, said this is just one of thousands of instances of exotic bird trade happening around the world – in many instances involving Canada.

“At any given moment, untold numbers of birds are being caught and shipped around the world. Some are destined for the pet trade here in Canada. Others will merely pass through our borders on their way to being sold as pets in other countries.”

Birds come to Canada from as far away as Africa, Asia and South America. They are often stolen from their nests as eggs or chicks, Dubois said. Then, the animals are transported in overcrowded and poorly ventilated containers.

“The close confinement and highly stressful conditions associated with capture and transport makes birds more susceptible to infection, and endangers the people and other animals who come into contact with them.”

While the United States and the European Union have moved to banning the import of wild-caught birds, Canada has yet to follow suit, leaving Canada open as a route for the exotic trade market – as was the case with the 50 captured birds.

“For example, before they even reach the consumer, as many as 75 per cent of parrots taken from the wild die from stress, disease, rough handling, crushing, asphyxiation or dehydration during capture and transport,” Dubois said.

The BC SPCA has joined a national coalition urging the government to end the wildlife trade and is calling on Canadians to add their voice by signing an online petition.

The animal welfare organization is also suggesting people contact their local pet store to voice concern about the exotic bird trade, talk about the issue with friends and family, avoid sharing posts about exotic animals that suggest they make good pets and always research before taking on a pet bird.

In B.C., large exotic animals such as tigers, alligators and venomous snakes are banned, but owning exotic birds is still permitted.


@ashwadhwani
ashley.wadhwani@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism? Make a donation here.

BCSPCA

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Vaseux Lake. Grant Harder photo.
Letter: Why can’t we have motorized boats on Vaseux Lake?

Avid fisherman with a disability would love to use his pontoon

The Okanagan’s first virtual wedding fair will be held Saturday, March 27. {Paul Rodgers photo)
Okanagan to host virtual wedding fair

Okanagan wine country is No. 1 destination for weddings - online event set for March 27

Wills Hodgkinson, 10, and his mom Neeley Brimer get ready to battle round three of cancer. The community of Penticton has his back. (Submitted)
Community raises $21K to help Penticton boy battle third round of cancer

Okanoggin Barbers held the fundraiser on Saturday for 10-year-old Wills Hodgkinson

courts
Bryan Lamb back in jail after less than two weeks out on bail

A warrant for his arrest was issued and granted Feb. 22

Baldy Mountain Resort was shut down on Saturday after a fatal workplace accident. (Baldy Mountain picture)
UPDATE: 70-year-old man killed in workplace accident at Baldy Mountain

The mountain closed on Saturday but has partially re-opened today (Sunday)

A health worker holds a vial of AstraZeneca vaccine to be administered to members of the police at a COVID-19 vaccination center in Mainz, Germany, Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021. The federal state of Rhineland-Palatinate, start with the vaccination of police officers in internal police vaccination centers. (Andreas Arnold/dpa via AP)
B.C. officials to unveil new details of COVID vaccination plan Monday

Seniors and health-care workers who haven’t gotten their shot are next on the list

(Contributed)
Kelowna flight potentially exposed to COVID-19

Third case on a local flight this month, compared to 14 through January

Vernon Search and Rescue, with help from the Air Rescue One helicopter out of Wildcat Helicopters in Kelowna, and Central Okanagan Search and Rescue, were able to transport an injured snowmobiler to Vernon Regional Airport, where he was loaded into an ambulance and taken to Vernon Jubilee Hospital with a serious, painful back injury. (Facebook photo)
Okanagan helicopter rescue teams called to retrieve injured sledder at Greystokes

Vernon and Central Okanagan Search and Rescue help load injured man into waiting helicopter

An investigation is underway after a man was shot and killed by Tofino RCMP in Opitsaht. (Black Press Media file photo)
Man shot and killed by RCMP near Tofino, police watchdog investigating

Investigation underway by Independent Investigations Office of British Columbia.

B.C. Supreme Court in Vancouver on Tuesday December 11, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C.’s compromise on in-person worship at three churches called ‘absolutely unacceptable’

Would allow outdoor services of 25 or less by Langley, Abbotsford and Chilliwack churches

Jasmine and Gwen Donaldson are part of the CAT team working to reduce stigma for marginalized groups in Campbell River. Photo by Marc Kitteringham, Campbell River Mirror
Jasmine’s story: Stigma can be the hardest hurdle for those overcoming addiction

Recovering B.C. addict says welcome, connection and community key for rebuilding after drug habit

Chase RCMP held two men involved in drunken disturbances overnight in their detachment’s cells on Feb. 6. (File Photo)
Chase RCMP hold two men involved in drunken disturbances overnight

The two separate incidents took place less than an hour apart.

Kamloops Fire Rescue battled a landfill fire which belched toxic smoke into the air on Feb. 27. (City of Kamloops Photo)
Fire at Kamloops landfill sends thick black smoke into the air

Firefighters made slow progress on the fire throughout the morning.

Most Read