60 birds starve to death in attic
12 August 2004
BRUSSELS – Sixty birds have been found dead in an attic in the town of Ath,
it was revealed on Thursday.
The owner of the birds was a member of the Belgian Ornithological Association, a federation of collectors who specialise in caged birds. However, he let his pets starve to death by not feeding or giving them water for a month, reported La Derniere Heure.
He had decided to keep the creatures, from a variety of species, in his neighbour’s attic because his partner suffered from asthma.
He then locked the door and took the key, claiming he did not want his neighbour’s children to disturb them.
When his neighbour noticed that he was not looking after the birds she started to become concerned.
But it was only after a nauseous smell started to seep down into the house that the woman decided to break into the attic where she made the discovery. All of the birds, with the exception of one quail, had starved to death.
“Some female birds had even died sitting on their eggs,” said Hugues Fanal, director of a bird protection agency that sent one of its representatives to the scene.
The bird group contacted Wallonia’s anti-poaching unit which made a report on the case. Questions have been asked about the origin of the birds since they are not tagged in the usual way.
Turtledoves and one protected species were found among the dead creatures and the owner has been accused of buying or capturing some birds illegally.
He now faces charges of breaking a 1981 law on animal welfare and the illegal detention of animals.
[Copyright Expatica 2004]
Subject: Belgian news