Casebook: Court cases - Owners of exotic birds evade prison sentence

The owners of approximately 100 tropical birds kept at a house in the New Forest have escaped prison terms after a judge decided that they had not deliberately flouted a court injunction requiring the animals to be removed.

New Forest District Council was granted an injunction in June requiring the owners to remove the birds, which included macaws, kookaburras and parakeets, and the aviaries in which they were kept. The owners failed to comply with its terms. Instead, they housed the birds in a brick shed, which they claimed reduced the noise nuisance to acceptable levels.

Mr Justice Hart stated that although they had attempted to comply with the purpose of the injunction, which was meant to protect the amenity of neighbours, the owners had not removed the birds as required. He warned that unless the birds were removed completely, the owners would be in contempt of court and face a possible jail term should they appear before him again.

New Forest District Council v Ward and Another; Date: 20 September 2004; Ref: IHQ/01059.

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