Gloucester man convicted for selling African Grey Parrot05/04/2019
Gloucester man convicted for selling African Grey Parrot
On 4th April 2019, Matthew REYNOLDS, 29, of Gloucester appeared at Cheltenham Magistrates Court where he pleaded guilty to charges contrary to the Control of Trade in Endangered Species (Enforcement) Regulations 1997 relating to the sale of an African Grey Parrot.
Two further charges under the same legislation were not proceeded with. REYNOLDS was given a 6 month curfew order with the condition that upon fitting of the appropriate tagging device he must remain in his home between the hours of 19.00hrs and 07.00hrs. He was also ordered to pay £85 costs and an £85 surcharge.
The African Grey Parrot (Psittacus erithacus) is a bird commonly found in trade in the UK. On the 1st June 1997 this species was listed under Annex B of the EU Regulations. Due to a decline in numbers in the wild and the large amount of birds being traded the species received increased protection and was listed under Annex A of the EU Regs on the 4th February 2017. This required that the commercial use of African Grey Parrots, including the sale of them, would require an article 10 certificate from the Animal Plant and Health Agency (APHA).
In September 2017 REYNOLDS sold an African Grey parrot for £350, at the time of the sale REYNOLDS failed to provide the new keeper with any paperwork including the relevant Article 10 certificate that was required in order for the bird to be sold.
The new owner of the bird contacted REYNOLDS requesting that he send them the appropriate Article 10, eventually in November 2017 after repeated requests for the certificate REYNOLDS sent the new owner an Article 10.
When the certificate was examined it was found that ring number on the certificate was not the same ring that was currently on the parrot, it was also noted that the certificate put the bird as 11 years old and not 6 years old as claimed by REYNOLDS when he originally sold it.
As a result of this the matter was reported to APHA who confirmed that the certificate was in fact false – the certificate number related to an African Grey parrot bred by another breeder but the ring number on the certificate was a fake number.
The matter was then reported to Gloucestershire Police and the National Wildlife Crime Unit (NWCU). As a result of further enquiries, on 14th February 2018, REYNOLDS was arrested at his home address in relation to the alleged offences and a search was carried out of the premises. Later that day Gloucestershire Police in company with an NWCU Investigations officer formally interviewed REYNOLDS. He admitted selling the parrot but had supplied the wrong paperwork with it, when he was shown the false Article 10 certificate he admitted it was fraudulent but stated that he hadn’t fraudulently altered it but it had been given to him by another person, he was unable to supply any details of this person.