Dead parrots - 1time 'not to blame'
Johannesburg - It was not the airline's fault that over 700 African Grey parrots from the Democratic Republic of Congo had died on a flight to Durban, 1time Airline said on Friday.
"1time Airline would like to make it clear that the suspected cause of death stated as being by inhalation of noxious gases or lack of oxygen, is a clear indication that the airline is not responsible for their demise," the airline said in a statement.
The hold in which the birds and a puppy were transported, was pressurised and ventilated with the exact same air as the cabin, it said.
"Not only were our passengers all in perfect condition, but the puppy was delivered safely and without harm and we are adamant that there have been undisclosed events leading to the transportation that need to be investigated."
1time said it was not possible to have noxious gas exposure in hold 1.
The airline company said it was committed to get to the bottom of what caused the death of the consignment of birds, and was co-operating closely with experts at the World Parrot Trust in this regard.
"Understanding what happened is important to the airline and its people, as something like this should never happen again.
"We have put into place a policy to ensure that, in future, no wild animal is transported without prior arrangement or management intervention and we no longer transport livestock en-masse by restricting each consignment to a maximum of four animals," said 1time's chief executive officer Rodney James.
However, James said everyone at 1time was saddened by the loss of the birds.
"At no time were our staff given information about the origin or species of the birds and we can assure all that had we known these were adult wild African Grey birds, we would have declined.
"It was a cargo consignment that was managed by Express Air Services and a consignment over which we had no need to demand more information, other than it was 500kg of live birds. The paperwork was all in order and acceptable."
Autopsy results were still expected for the 760 African Grey parrots in the midst of an ownership dispute, bird dealer Hennie Matthews said on Friday.
"Autopsies have been done," said Matthews, who launched an urgent application to get the 760 birds from another dealer Gideon Fourie, in lieu of money he claimed Fourie owes him.
But another dealer, Ben Moodie, claimed the birds were actually his, not Fourie's, and wanted them back.
The High Court in Johannesburg, sitting in Pretoria, received Matthews' urgent application in December and ordered that as the matter was not urgent, a full hearing would be held in January.
In the meantime, it also ordered that Matthews become the custodian of the birds, and that he deposit a R2m guarantee with Moodie's lawyers to cover their value.
Vince81 wrote:From News24The hold in which the birds and a puppy were transported, was pressurised and ventilated with the exact same air as the cabin, it said.
<So what will 1Time do when we ship fish and corals?>
Is this really so? Are dealers <allowed> to transport coral? If so, this is iniquitous! Coral is under such dire threat, worldwide...
Is there no limit to what pet and wildlife dealers will stoop? Give us strength...
African Grey parrots 'froze or suffocated'
Dries Liebenberg, Beeld
Durban - An investigation into the deaths of hundreds of African Grey parrots on a flight from Johannesburg to Durban on Christmas Eve points to possible carbon monoxide poisoning, as well as the possibility that they froze to death.
This is according to Dr Tertius Bergh, acting director of veterinary services, quarantine and public health in the Department of Agriculture.
The deaths of the parrots, which were caught in the Democratic Republic of Congo last year and imported for breeding purposes, caused shockwaves when the news broke last week.
According to Bergh, 749 African Greys were removed from the state's quarantine facility in Kempton Park on December 24.
The parrots were shipped on a 1time flight to Durban, where they were to be held in a private quarantine station, because the state facility was to close from December 25 to February 1.
The birds were moved on instruction from Hendrik Matthews, a breeder from Rooodepoort, amidst a court battle with another bird breeder, Ben Moodie, regarding ownership of the parrots.
They were worth about R2m.
When the birds arrived at King Shaka airport in Durban, over 90% of them were dead. Of the remaining 71 birds, 13 died within the next few days, said Bergh.
The rest of the birds are doing well.
According to Bergh, the state vet and a bird expert performed post-mortems and tissue tests.
No decisive conclusion was reached, but the "consensus clearly points to carbon monoxide poisoning or that they froze to death", Bergh said.
Anya Potgieter, 1time spokesperson, said on Thursday the air conditioning in the cargo hold was switched on.
"If it had been switched off, a little dog in the same cargo hold would also have frozen to death," she said.
Regarding the possibility of poisonous gas being to blame, she explained earlier that the air in the passenger cabin is circulated through the cargo hold and doesn't come into contact with poisonous gas.
Captain Durango wrote:Yesterday morning I had to drop off some equipment with a local courier (Timefreight).
Their overnight intercity truck arrived from JHB, with some squawking freight. Closer inspection showed this to be 6 crates of African Greys. These poor little 'jailed-birds' spent the night amongst some steel piping, a car engine and various other bits of freight all destined for Durban.
This obviously caught the attention of all drivers and assistants, who came out to see what the source of the din was. I managed to take 2 images with my phony ericsson, but since they are 1.05mb I cannot load them. If someone can advise how to resize them I will attach.
Is the breeder now sending via roadfreight instead of airline? If this is the case then they would have been collected the previous day before 12noon.
My questions are:
1. What time were they crated, and when will they be released from this confinement?
2. Is this an acceptable form of transport?
The top crate on the forklift, was loaded skew. When the driver entered the warehouse one of the staff simply kicked it straight.
I was tempted to introduce him to the tip of my boot, but common sense prevailed and I educated them about the stress these birds are already under.