It is always sad when you hear of any animal being neglected, but when its an animal you are very close to it makes the reality that little harder to cope with.
It has come to light this weekend that a Mr David Woodbury, the self professed leader of a group of witch-hunters who has had a very unhealthy obsession against me and my family for over 10 years, doing anything and everything within his power to get us closed down, also happens to be a Trustee/Director of the registered charity ‘Parrotcare UK’ a parrot rescue charity that is in the middle of a serious parrot neglect claim with fellow trustee/director June Edwards.
It appears that his rescue charity has had a report produced against them by one of the worlds leading avian veterinary surgeons, Mr Neil Forbes for serious and appalling neglect on these poor helpless creatures.
The report is as follows:
EXPERT VETERINARY WITNESS REPORT
Neil A Forbes BVetMed FRCVS
STATEMENT OF WITNESS
(C.J. Act 1967, Sec.9: M.C. Act 1980, ss 5A (3) (A) and 5(B), M.C. Rules 1981, Rule 70.)
Statement of Neil A. Forbes BVetMed DipECZM(avian) FRCVS
Age Over 18
Occupation Veterinary Surgeon
This statement (consisting of 4 page(s) each signed by me is true to the best of my knowledge and belief and I make it knowing that, if it is tendered in evidence, I shall be liable to prosecution if I have wilfully stated in it anything which I know to be false or do not believe to be true.
Neil A Forbes FRCVS
Ref Birds Presented to me at Great Western Exotic Vets by Alison Scales,
which had previously been in the care of June Edwards at Parrotcare
I the undersigned, have been an RCVS Qualified Recognised Specialist in Avian Medicine since 1992 and a European Recognised Specialist in Avian Medicine since 1997. I gained my FRCVS by examination in exotic bird medicine in 1996. I was senior lecturer in Avian Medicine at Bristol University Vet School from 1999 – 2011.
I have been requested by Mrs A Scales, to provide a statement of my findings and treatment of three specific birds, Elsa (Kakariki), Fred and Blue (Blue Fronted Amazon Parrots)
During my career I have been recognised by receipt of the following awards and positions:-
1983 Ag Vet Trophy
1983 Centenary Award
1991 Mackellar Award
1995 Fellowship of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons
1996 Diploma European College of Avian Medicine & Surgery
1998 Fellow Royal Society of Medicine
2000 Senior Reader and Visiting Fellow, University of Bristol Veterinary School
2002 Melton Award
2004 Lafeber – avian practitioner award (fist non US recipient)
2005 William Hunting Award
2006 Registered Forensic Practitioner
2007 President European College of Avian Medicine and Surgery
2009 President European College of Zoological Medicine
2010 President European Board of Veterinary Specialisation
2010 Helga Gerlach Senior Award for Excellence in Avian Medicine (first ever recipient)
I have been a well respected, busy ‘Legal Expert Veterinary Witness’, acting for the RSPCA, various Police forces, DEFRA, Customs and Excise as well as many private solicitors for some 30 years.
I hereby certify that on 12.11.2012, Fred a Blue Fronted Amazon parrot, with defective eyesight was presented to me for examination. On clinical examination it was apparent that Fred had suffered from a chronic, long standing keratitis affecting both his eyes. He is not technically blind, he has retinal function and was certainly not born blind. His eye pressures were normal. Clinical pathology testing revealed that he had an elevated white blood cell count (leucocytosis – indicating active infection), and monocytosis (indicating chronicity – i.e. long standing) and tested positive on serology test for for chlamydiosis (otherwise known as psittacosis). In my expert opinion this bird was suffering from clinical chlamydiosis. Whilst chlamydia will certainly cause upper respiratory infection and conjuncitivitis (amongst other signs) which if left untreated could have resulted in the keratitis (eye damage), there are other potential causes and there is no evidence of a certain cause and effect in this case. Furthermore we do not know exactly when the keratitis first occurred, however this bird should certainly have been subjected to veterinary consultation and treatment at the time he was admitted into the care of Parrotcare. Any failure to have had this bird examined and suitably treated at the time of admission, would in my expert opinion have constituted a breach of Section 4 of the Animal Welfare Act 2006, in respect of a failure to provide proper care and attention, such that this bird would have suffered unnecessarily. Furthermore, it is my expert opinion that such suffering would have been unnecessary and would not have been tolerated by a reasonably caring member of society of parrot keeper.
After my consultation, Fred was treated for chlamydia (psittacosis), he had non steroidal anti-inflammatory eye drops applied twice daily and was referred to a veterinary ophthalmologist, to see whether superficial corneal striping by use of laser surgery would be possible to remove the damaged corneal tissue. In the ophthalmologists opinion this is not possible.
My expert opinion is that the duration of suffering is at least 12 months.
Blue (Blue Fronted Amazon), was also first presented on 12.11.2012. Blue was a very sorry site, with normal wing bone and joint structure, but with limited extension of both elbows, due to arthritic changes in these joints. On examination, I believe Blue to be an aged bird. Radiographs show that he has an enlarged heart, severe artherosclerosis and marked arthritis of the elbows, which was evident on x-ray, but more so due to physical examination under general anaesthesiasia. This bird does in my opinion suffer from severe elbow pain and as a result chews out all its own feathers out on both wings, from the elbow outwards. In my expert opinion, no part of the wings have ever been removed, by pliers or any other means, rather simply the bird has removed all feathers, as a response to untreated long-term pain. Blood samples showed an elevated white blood cell count (indicating active infection), and Chlamydia serology test was positive. In my expert opinion this bird was suffering from clinical chlamydiosis (otherwise known as psittacosis).
Blue was discharged with treatment for Chlamydia, pain relief, together with therapy for heart disease and atherosclerosis.
It is my expert opinion that this bird should certainly have been subjected to veterinary consultation and treatment at the time he was admitted into the care of Parrotcare. Any failure to have had this bird examined and suitably treated at the time of admission, would in my expert opinion have constituted a breach of Section 4 of the Animal Welfare Act 2006, in respect of a failure to provide proper care and attention, such that this bird would have suffered unnecessarily. Furthermore, it is my expert opinion that such suffering would have been unnecessary and would not have been tolerated by a reasonably caring member of society of parrot keeper.
My expert opinion is that the duration of suffering is at least 12 months.
Elsa (Kakeriki) – was first presented to us on 11/7/2012. I carried out a complete health check, including blood tests. Blood results, including Chlamydia were normal. However Elsa had a major deformity of the left inter-tarsal joint. On full examination, including whole body radiographs, I was able to demonstrate that Elsa had previously suffered a traumatic dislocation of the inter-tarsal joint. I can confirm that she has never suffered any fractures to the wings. In essence the proximal tarso metatarsus was now placed laterally to her joint, angled at 40o out of alignment. The base of the distal tibio tarsus, was pressing on the skin and being used to weight bare. The effect was a pressure sore and secondary infection in the skin under the distal tibio tarsus. I advised that the appropriate treatment for this injury would be either euthanasia or surgical arthrodesis of the inter-tarsal joint, in order to alleviate the pain that was otherwise on going. We subsequently carried out surgery on this joint to effect a correction. Elsa also had a small residual sub cutaneous abscess on her head, which was opened and debrided.
It is my expert opinion that this bird had been suffering in this way since the initial injury occurred, until she came into Mrs Scales care, at which point I am informed pain relief was provided.
It is my expert opinion that this bird should certainly have been subjected to veterinary consultation and treatment at the time he was admitted into the care of Parrotcare, or at the time of injury if this was subsequent. Any failure to have had this bird examined and suitably treated at the time of admission/injury, would in my expert opinion have constituted a breach of Section 4 of the Animal Welfare Act 2006, in respect of a failure to provide proper care and attention, such that this bird would have suffered unnecessarily. Furthermore, it is my expert opinion that such suffering would have been unnecessary and would not have been tolerated by a reasonably caring member of society of parrot keeper.
Being well versed in legal procedure, I am not prepared to become embroiled in ‘trial by facebook, website or other’, as such I am not prepared to comment on lay opinion, comment or counter claim in this media. The comments that I have made, are the facts, and my expert opinion based on these facts.
I believe it is important that all interested parties are aware, that the Animal Welfare Act 2006, makes it an offence if any keeper or owner, causes cruelty or unnecessary suffering, or fails to provide ‘good practice’ in respect of any animals welfare.
In the situation of animals being in the care of a Charitable organisation, the carer is defined as the keeper, whilst technically the Directors of the Charity are the owners. In such a situation, if a court finds that an offence has arisen under the AWA Act 2006, not only the Keeper, but also the owner (the Directors), are guilty of that offence and would be charged as such.
The opinions and comments made in this statement, are based on my clinical notes, made contemporaneously to my examinations. In the event of a court case, these will be supported by my laboratory results and radiographs.
1.1 I understand that my over riding duty is to the court, both in preparing my report and in giving oral evidence.
1.2 In my report I have set out what I understand from those instructing me to be the questions in respect of which my opinions, as an expert, are required.
1.3 In preparing the report I have done my best to be accurate and complete. I have mentioned all matters which I regard to as relevant to the opinions I have expressed.
1.4 All matters on which I have expressed an opinion lie within my field of expertise, and those which are outside my expertise I have identified.
1.5 I have drawn to the attention of the court all matters of which I am aware which might adversely affect my opinion.
1.6 Where ever I have supplemented my opinion, I have indicated the source of the factual information.
1.7 I have not included anything in this report, or excluded anything from it, which has been suggested to me by anyone, including those who have instructed me, without forming my own independent view on the matter.
1.8 Where in my view, there is a range of opinion I have indicated the extent of that range.
1.9 At the time of signing the report I consider it to be complete and accurate. I will notify the court if for any reason I consider that it requires correction or qualification.
1.10 I understand that this report will be evidence that I will give under oath, subject to any correction or qualification I may make before swearing to its veracity.
1.11 I believe that the facts I have stated in this report are true and that the opinions I have expressed are correct.
Neil A Forbes BVetMed DipECZM(avian) FRCVS
RCVS Recognised Specialist Zoo and Wildlife Medicine (Avian)
European Veterinary Specialist Zoological (avian) Medicine
Coming from the respectable Mr Forbes, I have no reason to question this and I am really shocked. This really is horrendous and tantamount to being barbaric, however it does appear that the attacks on me and the parrot zoo appears to be the smoke screen put up by David Woodbury in order to take away possible interest in him and his charity. This in mind the report is being sent to all the bodies that Mr David Woodbury complained to about us.
I do hope that no parrots suffer in all of what is to happen in the near future and should we as a rescue need to help, we are here and more than willing.
PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE BE VERY CAREFUL BEFORE YOU PASS YOUR PARROTS ON TO ANYWHERE THAT YOU CANNOT CONTINUE TO VISIT THEM, THESE SMALL RESCUES ARE VERY GOOD IN THEIR INTENTIONS BUT MANY DO NOT HAVE THE RESOURCES TO MAINTAIN HIGH STANDARDS OF CARE WHEN IT COMES TO CARING FOR LARGE AMOUNTS OF PARROTS WHICH IS WHY THEY ARE ALWAYS PASSED FROM PILLAR TO POST. ONLY THEN THEY FIND IT VERY DIFFICULT TO POLICE THE SITUATION AND THEREFORE HAVE NO IDEA WHAT IS HAPPENING TO PARROTS THAT HAVE BEEN REHOMED A NUMBER OF TIMES. WE KNOW THIS AS WE HAVE OVER 150 PARROTS RESIDING HERE FROM THESE SMALL RESCUES THAT THEY HAVE NO KNOWLEDGE OF.
IF YOU ARE THINKING ABOUT BEING A PARROT RESCUE PLEASE LET THIS BE A VALUABLE LESSON, IN THE END IT IS ALWAYS THE POOR ANIMAL THAT SUFFERS, AND NO ONE GOES INTO IT KNOWING THAT.