BC SPCA - Don't Let the Exotic Birds at Gagan Farm Die

BC SPCA - Don't Let the Exotic Birds at Gagan Farm Die

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There are approximately 30 exotic birds living in a greenhouse at Gagan Farm Market in Abbotsford, British Columbia.  These birds are being kept in inhumane conditions and are suffering.  Some of the birds are sick and injured and the owner has refused to obtain avian veterinary care for the birds.  The BC SPCA has been aware that these birds are in distress for at least the past year.  They have the authority to seize the birds from this owner but have not yet taken appropriate action.

The mission of the British Columbia Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals is "to protect and enhance the quality of life for domestic, farm and wild animals in British Columbia."  We are asking the BC SPCA to use their authority to protect the birds at Gagan Farm by removing the birds from the farm and getting them all the veterinary care they require and then rehoming them.  Further, we ask that the BC SPCA bring cruelty charges against the owner so that he can not own any more exotic birds.  The BC SPCA investigation has been "ongoing" for more than a month but the lives of the birds has only gotten worse.

In Dec 2018 the BC SPCA served notices on the owner of Gagan Farm Market requiring him to improve the condition of all of the birds.  The orders included maintaining a consistent temperature in the greenhouse/aviary, keeping the aviary clean and feeding the proper food to the birds.  The owner was given 48 hours to improve the condition of the birds.  More than one month after receiving the Notices, the owner of the birds had not fulfilled even one of the BC SPCA demands.  That means ALL of these birds are in distress and ALL should be removed.

There are birds on the farm right now that require immediate care from an avian veterinarian.  The owner of the birds has not taken the birds to a veterinarian even when they are showing obvious signs of sickness and injury.  One amazon is partially blind.  A conure suffered for more than two weeks from a severe injury to his face after he was attacked by two other birds in the aviary.  Another bird at the farm currently has had a ruptured air sac for more than a week and the owner has made no attempt to get the bird to a vet.  Lories are clearly suffering from not getting the nectar food they require to survive.

The SPCA has the authority to seize any animal who is "in distress."  These exotic birds are clearly in distress for all of the following reasons:

• The owner is not getting veterinary care for his birds and allows birds to suffer with injuries and low-term conditions

• No heat is provided to the birds except when visitors are in the aviary

• There is not enough heating capacity to maintain temperatures above freezing and frozen water dishes have been seen in the aviary

• The greenhouse holding the aviary does not protect the birds from cold, drafts and moisture and could collapse in a storm

• Enclosures, dishes and perches are excessively dirty and are never cleaned

• The galvanized cages are covered in rust exposing these birds to toxic levels of heavy metals

• The birds are malnourished and their food consists entirely of low-quality seeds

• Birds like lories requiring specialized diets are not being fed the food they require for survival. 

• There is a rat infestation in the aviary and rats have been known to attack and kill exotic birds.  In the darkness the birds cannot see or defend themselves from the rats surrounding them.

• The birds have no access to artificial light and are in partial darkness most of the day.  

The BC SPCA has been more than patient with the owner of these exotic birds.  They have given him more than one month over the initial 48-hour deadline.  On repeated visits to the farm the SPCA Special Constables have found more issues, not fewer.  Some of the exotic birds on this farm have already died from neglect.  Now it is time for the BC SPCA to put the welfare of these animals first and take ALL of these birds into their custody.