From: Associated Press
Published January 16, 2006 12:00 AM

Activists Sue Over Connecticut Parakeet Removal

NEW HAVEN, Conn. — An animal rights group said Friday that it filed a lawsuit against United Illuminating Co. seeking to stop any future removal of monk parakeet nests from utility poles. Darien-based Friends of Animals said the lawsuit was filed Thursday afternoon in New Haven Superior Court.


The action followed the recent removal of 103 nests in the Bridgeport and New Haven areas by the utility, which said the nests were hazardous. UI turned over 179 parakeets to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which euthanized the birds using carbon dioxide.


Friends of Animals argues that the birds are part of Connecticut's ecosystem and should be protected.


The lawsuit seeks a permanent injunction against the capture and killing of the birds and wants the court to compel UI to take humane measures that would dissuade the parakeets from building their huge nests on utility poles.


Al Carbone, spokesman for United Illuminating, said the company won't comment on the litigation, but he said it is working with state and local agencies to find a non-lethal solution.


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Friends of Animals sought a temporary restraining order to stop the parakeet eradication project in November. But the organization withdrew its request in December after a judge said the company had no further plans to capture any more birds.


The company, which serves about 320,000 customers in southern Connecticut, says the 200-pound twig nests cause several fires and blackouts every year.


Source: Associated Press


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