Bird Sanc­tu­ary hits back at an­i­mal wel­fare con­cerns

Sanc­tu­ary owner de­nies claims birds be­ing ig­nored

Isis Town and Country - - Front Page - By JIM ALOUAT

FLY­ING High Bird Sanc­tu­ary owner David Tock­nell has hit back at claims the bird park is in poor con­di­tion and the birds are not be­ing well cared for.

Scott Dixon vol­un­teered to work at the sanc­tu­ary ear­lier this year but left ear­lier than an­tic­i­pated be­cause the wel­fare of the an­i­mals and main­te­nance of the sanc­tu­ary were not pri­or­i­ties for the own­ers.

“They show no abil­ity to im­prove or main­tain any part of the fa­cil­ity, not even mow the grass, fix an aviary door, re­duce ver­min or spend time on an­i­mal wel­fare con­cerns,” Mr Dixon said.

Mr Tock­nell de­nied the claims and said he was “sur­prised and dis­ap­pointed” a re­port had since been filed with Biose­cu­rity Queens­land.

“There was noth­ing to sub­stan­ti­ate what was be­ing queried,” Mr Tock­nell said.

“The birds are looked af­ter here very well.

“Any bird that gets ill, it’s straight to the vet.”

Tony Hayes, who along with wife Carolyn spent two months work­ing as vol­un­teers at the bird park, said de­scrib­ing it as a “sanc­tu­ary” was only par­tially cor­rect.

“The labour re­quire­ments are not be­ing met in any way and the state of the site is very poor,” he said.

A Biose­cu­rity Queens­land spokesman con­firmed the mat­ter re­mained un­der in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

“Biose­cu­rity Queens­land con­tin­ues to work with the own­ers of the Fly­ing High Bird Sanc­tu­ary to ad­dress a num­ber of is­sues re­lat­ing to an an­i­mal wel­fare sit­u­a­tion re­ported to us,” he said.

“While the mat­ter is un­der in­ves­ti­ga­tion, Biose­cu­rity Queens­land can­not make any spe­cific com­ments about this case.”

Mr Tock­nell and his wife Anne have owned the busi­ness for five years and last year told the Isis Town and Coun­try that due to ill health and “old age”, they in­tended to sell the busi­ness and re­tire.

“We have dropped the price by about half for what we paid for it, so it is ridicu­lously low,” Mr Tock­nell said.

Mr Tock­nell said he re­mained hope­ful that the right buyer was just around the cor­ner ready to take on the sanc­tu­ary and con­tinue car­ing for the al­most 3000 birds on site.

PHOTO: MIKE KNOTT

CON­CERNS AN­SWERED: Fly­ing High Bird Sanc­tu­ary owner David Tock­nell says the birds are his num­ber one pri­or­ity and has de­nied claims they aren’t be­ing cared for.

PHOTO: ZACH HOGG

FI­NAL GOOD­BYE: Fly­ing High Bird Sanc­tu­ary own­ers David and Anne Tock­nell are hop­ing to sell the tourist at­trac­tion.

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