Behind bars, the bird man named by Hague

Behind bars, the bird man named by Hague. A report in the Daily Mail, a popular British national tabloid, on 15th April 2000

One of the world’s leading parrot breeders was jailed yesterday after being convicted of smuggling endangered birds. Harry Sissen bought rare South American parrots on covert trips to Eastern Europe to keep on his North Yorkshire farm.

Sissen, 61, is believed to have illegally traded in more than 140 birds including three rare Lear’s macaws - each worth up to £25,000. He was convicted following a raid on his farm in Northallerton and also after Tory leader William Hague told a court how the breeder - one of his constituents - had confessed to smuggling birds during a visit to his surgery.

Yesterdav he was sentenced to two-and-half years at Newcastle Crown Court by Judge Guy Whitburn, who told him he was a `devious’ man who had wanted the glory of successfully breeding the macaws in captivity.

As Sissen was ordered to pay £5,000 costs at the end of the four week trial, it also emerged that he has massive debts and two previous convictions for smuggling birds into Britain.

The three macaws could now be returned to their native Brazil. Sissen had originally claimed he acquired the macaws legally.

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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)