16 rare birds dead in Sissen case

A report in the 3.12.99 issue of Cage & Aviary Birds reads as follows:

A report in the 3.12.99 issue of Cage & Aviary Birds reads as follows:

Noted parrot breeder Harry Sissen, who last week, discovered 16 of his rare birds have died in custody, faces a second preliminary hearing at Teesside Crown Court next month.

The rare-bird expert will return to court on December 20 to see evidence presented to a different judge, who will hear the full case when it comes to court, probably next March. This is expected to be at Newcastle Crown Court. Three to four weeks have been allocated for the trial.

Harry, who has bred rare birds on his farm at Northallerton for 35 years, is charged with three counts of illegal importation of Lear’s macaws, one charge of illegal importation of six blue-headed macaws and two charges of illegally selling birds. He has always denied the charges.

Regarded as one of the most skilful bird breeders in Europe with endangered species, Harry was raided in April 1998 when more than 120 birds were confiscated for DNA tests. A further 19 birds were taken the following month.

He has just been given a list of 16 of his rare birds that have died since the raid. They are: a red-vented cockatoo; a blue-throated macaw; a citron-crested cockatoo; a scarlet macaw; a Buffon’s macaw; a thick-billed parrot; two red-fronted macaws; a blue-throated macaw; a hyacinthine macaw; a blue-headed macaw; a yellow-tailed black cockatoo; a Major Mitchell’s cockatoo; a greater sulphur crested cockatoo; a female Goliath palm cockatoo and one of a breeding pair of triton cockatoos.

The remaining 123 confiscated birds are scattered around zoos and bird parks in Britain.

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 " Naturam expellas furca, tamen usque recurret "

( If you drive out nature with a pitchfork, she will soon find a way back)

Horace (65-8 BC)