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

Jaimee Peters photo of a Willow Midwives helping with a birth. Willow is closing its doors March 31 because of a shortage of midwives. (Contributed)
Petition to save South Okanagan’s only midwife clinic nears 3,000 signatures

After 12 years, Willow Community Midwives has to close its doors due to a shortage of midwives

Calls for potential overdoses in B.C. spiked in 2020, especially in the Okanagan - Shuswap. Pictured above is a BCEHS re-enactment of paramedics attending an overdose. (BCHES photo)
UBCO program increases drug checking availability in Kelowna, Penticton, Vernon

January 2021 data shows of 95 opioid samples tested across Interior Health, 93 contained fentanyl

Youth from Vernon, Kelowna, Penticton and the Kootenays were able to dig into two evenings of online learning and connection through United Way Southern Interior B.C.’s <CODE>anagan program. (Submitted)<code> </code>
CODEanagan gives youth a chance to learn about technology

The youth, aged 12 to 21, built their own WordPress sites and developed blogging ideas

A rainbow shining on Kelowna General Hospital on May 12, 2020 International Nurses Day. (Steve Wensley - Prime Light Media)
New COVID cases trending down in Interior Health

24 new cases reported Thursday, Feb. 25, death at Kelowna General Hospital

Okanagan patients will benefit from the recent inclusion of the Medical Arts Health Research Group in a worldwide study with the National Institute of Health (NIH). The study will be a global collaboration for finding better treatments for COVID-19. (File photo)
Okanagan research group involved with finding better COVID treatments

Okanagan Medical Arts Health Research Group invited to collaborate in global study

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature. (B.C. government)
B.C. reports 10 additional deaths, 395 new COVID-19 cases

The majority of new coronavirus infections were in the Fraser Health region

A new survey has found that virtual visits are British Columbian’s preferred way to see the doctor amid the COVID-19 pandemic. (Unsplash)
Majority of British Columbians now prefer routine virtual doctor’s visits: study

More than 82% feel virtual health options reduce wait times, 64% think they lead to better health

Carolyn Howe, a kindergarten teacher and vice president of the Greater Victoria Teachers’ Association, says educators are feeling the strain of the COVID-19 pandemic and the influx of pressure that comes with it. (Nina Grossman/News Staff)
Stress leave, tears and insomnia: Island teachers feel the strain of COVID-19

Teachers still adjusting to mask and cleaning rules, pressures from outside and within

Larch Place is the first building to be built in the BC Housing, Canadian Mental Health Association housing project at the corner of Third Street SW and Fifth Avenue SW. This view is from the Shuswap Street side where it sits behind the Graystone East building. (File photo)
Opening of doors at new housing development in Salmon Arm welcomed

BC Housing announces opening of 32 rental units, with 35 more expected in summer 2021

Cory Mills, Eric Blackmore and A.J. Jensen, all 20, drown in the Sooke River in February 2020. (Contributed photos)
Coroner confirms ‘puddle jumping’ in 2020 drowning deaths of 3 B.C. men

Cory Mills, Eric Blackmore and A.J. Jensen pulled into raging river driving through nearby flooding

Castlegar doctor Megan Taylor contracted COVID-19 in November. This photo was taken before the pandemic. Photo: Submitted
Kootenay doctor shares experience contracting COVID-19

Castlegar doctor shares her COVID experience

Vancouver International Women in Film Festival kicks off March 5.
Women in Film Festival features two B.C. filmmakers

The 16th annual festival kicks off March 5, 2021

The booklet roots present day activism in the history of racist policies, arguing the history must be acknowledged in order to change. (CCPA)
New resource dives into 150 years of racist policy in B.C.

Racist history must be acknowledged in order to change, authors say

Agatha Mary Clarissa Miller, before she knew she would change literature. Photo Wikipedia
And Then There Were None

What book knocked your booties off when you were young?

Most Read