Editorial Cartoon by Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Wednesday November 15, 2017
Hamilton’s aviary birds can stay put for now
The city is giving Hamilton Aviary volunteers until next summer to find a new home for the popular bird sanctuary.
A report in October recommended closing the Westdale facility and “rehoming” 65 birds because the dilapidated, city-leased building has sparked orders from the provincial Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.
Bird-loving volunteers appealed for time to put together a proposal for a new facility that would keep the feathered friends together.
Councillors at a public works committee Monday agreed to allow the birds to stay at the Oak Knoll Drive facility until the end of June 2018 — and pay up to $40,000 for short-term repairs — while volunteers work to find a new home for the aviary.
If the proposed new “forever home” for the birds looks like it will fly next year, the city will sell all 65 parrots and parakeets to the newly reconstituted Friends of the Aviary for $1.
Ward Coun. Aidan Johnson said he appreciated the “passion” of aviary supporters but noted the tough balancing act the city faces in trying to “fulfil its (legal) obligations as zookeeper.”
The provincial SPCA has said the city will face charges if it doesn’t deal with orders related to mice infestation and bad lighting at the aviary by the end of this month. (Source: Hamilton Spectator)