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‘Horrific scene’: SPCA seized 20 parrots from Randburg home, found 150 dead birds

Randburg SPCA rescued 20 distressed parrots in need of medical care from a Randburg home on 20 January. In addition, more than 150 dead birds were found.

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The incident sent shockwaves through the country on 20 January 2020 when the Randburg SPCA rescued more than 20 distressed parrots from a Randburg home.

It was later established that the house belongs to a prominent member of the Parrot Breeders Association of South Africa (PASA) vice chairperson Antonie Meiring.

Dead parrots found in Randburg: Here’s what we know

“More than 150 dead parrots were seen on the premises in what can only be described as a horrific scene”.

Inspector Theo Mahube of the Randburg SPCA.

Meiring was forced to resign from PASA after Randburg SPCA issued a search and seizure warrant for the Farmall home outside Chartwell.

‘Dirty and parasitic conditions’

Members of the Randburg SPCA were accompanied by a Johannesburg wildlife veterinarian, as well as members from the Douglasdale SAPS.

Randburg SPCA inspector Theo Mahube confirmed that the animals were kept in “dirty and parasitic conditions”, and that the parrot cages were “infested with large rats”. He added:

“Some enclosures were found to be obstructed with spider webs to the point where birds were unable to fly inside the enclosure and had to resort to climbing. The owner was found to be in possession of three lesser bushbabies, without being in possession of a permit.”

A criminal offence

According to Mahube, it is a criminal offence and a violation of the Animals Protection Act 71 of 1962 “to keep any animal in a dirty or parasitic condition”.

The SPCA also confirmed that criminal charges will be laid against Meiring, “pending consultation with officers of the Gauteng department of agriculture and rural development and expert veterinarians”.

Investigation continues

Inspector Shiven Bodasing from Randburg SPCA told The Randburg Sun that the scene could only be described as “deplorable”. He expressed his shock that a PASA member could be responsible for such a horrific scene:

“One would expect that a member of the Parrot Breeders Association of South Africa would comply with his own code of conduct and code of practice. This is a crime, the animals were found to be kept under offensive conditions, and we will be dealing with relevant role-players.”

He assured residents that the people responsible would be “held accountable for the negligence observed at the premises”, adding that no person is above the law.

Photo caption on Facebook: “Antonie Meiring, (far right) flying the South African flag at CITES Cop18 in Geneva, Switzerland in 2019, with fellow delegates from the South African wildlife trade and hunting industries.”

Randburg Sun has attempted to reach the member of the Parrot Breeders Association of South Africa involved in this case, but has been unsuccessful.