64 parrots were seized during a control operation in a pet shop in Westerlo on Tuesday. The store manager could not prove he had bought these endangered birds legally, revealed the Public Health minister’s office on Wednesday. The store had previously committed several violations to the CITES legislation which monitors the market for endangered animals, and to the legislation concerning animal welfare. The shopkeeper risks a 50,000-euro fine and up to 5 years in prison. CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) is a 1973 international treaty which prohibits trade in certain endangered species and strictly regulates trade in other species.
Tuesday’s check revealed that the shopkeeper in question did not respect the convention, in spite of having been warned several times in the past and asked to comply with legislation. As a result, the inspectors seized the 64 protected parrots directly.
The birds were sent to a reception centre in West Flanders, adds the Public health minister’s office.
Oscar Schneider (Source: Belga)