Published On: Thu, Apr 3rd, 2014

Bird Smugglers get lower sentences

bird smugglersWILLEMSTAD - Three former employees of Parke Tropikal (local zoo) have been recently re- sentenced to suspended prison sentences for the import of native species of protected birds in the Netherlands and their participation in a criminal organization.

Two suspects were previously sentenced to 414 days each in jail, one year probation and the third to 404 days in jail, which includes one year probation. The number of days, however, has been recently reduced by the multiple economic chamber of the Court of Appeal ' s- Hertogenbosch to 365 days, respectively, with 320 days suspended and two years probation and 280 days, including 240 probation and two years probation. The court in determining the sentence took into account the fact that the defendants had never been in contact with justice previously.

The men were involved in the illegal importation of birds from Curacao to the Netherlands. The birds were in hand luggage transported by plane to the Netherlands and traded in that country. On July 10, 2009 cages containing 117 birds were found at Schiphol in a plastic hand luggage, of which 33 birds were already deceased. The court finds that the three were not concerned about animal welfare and the risk of possible spread of infectious animal diseases. The men have thus taken an unacceptable risk, according to the court.

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