Muscovy ducks to be protected under a town being titled as a Bird Sanctuary

For several years there has been a rising issue of bird poaching, in particular regarding Muscovy Ducks. This initiated the undercover surveillance and investigations by private investigator, Ana Campos, to expose who were the culprits behind the harvesting and concerns of the missing ducks of Davie.

What was revealed, through lengthy investigations, was that groups of poachers were trespassing onto private properties and areas where ducks have been known to flourish, and were illegally removing hundreds of birds from their natural habitats on a daily basis. These poachers were masking themselves as licensed wildlife removal contractors who were ‘assumed’ to the public, to have the legal right to capture some of the wild Muscovy ducks from the area, as a public service.

However they were not licensed or qualified by any entity, and the poachers were seizing opportunities to make sizable profits from an underground trade of selling the ducks to illegal animal slaughter, religious sacrifice operators and even to local Chinese restaurants.

The relocation of these ducks alone is considered unlawful, however the sales of these ducks is what has been driving poachers to continue to torture, trap and steal them. This has been an industry that has been fueled by a high demand black market that is prevalent in the southern regions of Florida. These types of industries also relate to the leading operations in which ARM has not only been targeting over the last five years, but has succeeded in eliminating almost 135 illegal operations of its kind.

In addition to the illegal aspects of poaching over thousands of Muscovy ducks that roamed freely in the town of Davie, the birds have been subjected to extremely inhumane treatment and handling. In order to trap the ducks, investigators documented the offenders chasing the birds down, violently grabbing them and forcing them into air tight feed and trash bags, many a dozen at a time. As the ducks attempted to escape, those that did succeed, were left with broken wings and legs due to the brutal manner in which they are pursued, grabbed and dropped.

Muscovy Ducks crammed into crates with no food or water.

On July 30, 2016, a dramatic turn of events occurred as ARM became involved when a vehicle carrying approximately one hundred Muscovy Ducks was followed and pursued for over seven hours before being surrounded by police at a gas station in central Florida.
The culprits were handcuffed and detained for questioning.

FWC officials, Ana Campos and ARM investigators arrived at the scene to detain the poachers and evaluate the condition of the ducks who had been imprisoned in small, cramped poultry cages with no water or food for almost 11 hours. In addition, the birds had also been stacked on the back of a pick up truck in the extremities of the Florida sun, where on the day, temperatures were recorded to be at its peak of 98 degrees Fahrenheit.

After hours of deliberations between official agencies, a disappointing outcome led to the release of the culprits with the birds remaining in their possession. However, this specific incident spurred ARM’s involvement to become further involved and amplify its investigations of bird poaching to ensure that drastic change are implemented and enforced, for the further protection of Muscovy ducks, and all birds in South Florida.

ARM documenting the conditions of the ducks.

Crates crammed with ducks pulled over finally after-hours of calls made.

Police on scene investigating the case.

FWC officials with the man in question for capturing and transporting the ducks.

As a direct result of the ongoing duck poaching and cruelty in the town of Davie (FL), the Mayor of Davie, Judy Paul is currently proposing an ordinance to officially instate the Town of Davie as a protected Bird Sanctuary. This ordinance was a year in the making led by Ana Campos, with the support of a group of leading animal advocates (ARFF) in Florida who banded together. If passed, this would make it unlawful for any person to hunt, wound, injure, kill, take, capture, ensnare, net, trap, or in any other manner molest a bird, bird nest, or bird egg of any bird, including Muscovy ducks.

The Town Council of Davie held their first reading of the ordinance on Wednesday, August 17, 2016 which passed unanimously in favor. On September 7th, 2016, there will be a final vote by the Town Council of Davie.

This ordinance would be a history making victory in the State of Florida in regard to the protection of Muscovy ducks, as many poachers are trespassing to remove and relocate them from the Broward County specifically. ARM’s Conservation Division is collaborating with such seasoned private investigators, agencies, the State Attorney’s Office and the Davie Police to aid in putting an end to the illegal poaching and torture of Muscovy Ducks in the town of Davie (South Florida).

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