Follow Up on 2 Macaw Deaths
parrot bird sitting on the perch

Follow Up on 2 Macaw Deaths

Last Updated on by Mitch Rezman

Dear Mitch:
As you know, one of your Facebook page users, Nikki Moulesong, has alleged on your site that 2 of her birds died from eating Harrison’s bird food. We have completed a thorough investigation and determined conclusively that our food did not contribute to her bird’s deaths.
Our official statement is below, which you are welcome to post on your site.
We are happy to provide the facts to your forum members through our statement and hope that it will counter the effect of her unsupported allegations.

 If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me.
Thank you,
On 9/7/13 the tragic and unfortunate deaths of Ms. Moulesong’s macaws occurred.
Shortly thereafter Ms. Moulesong chose to take to the internet (online forums, social media etc.) campaigning blame against Harrison’s Bird Foods before even speaking to a company representative.
On the morning of 9/9/13 (the first business day subsequent), I did reach Ms. Moulesong by phone to convey our condolences and to begin an investigation into the possible causes of the birds’ deaths.
Ms. Moulesong claimed she fed Power Treats “with a noticeably strong mold odor” to her macaws which caused them to vomit and subsequently aspirate resulting in death shortly thereafter.
Although no necropsy (essential for any formal conclusion) was performed and no other incidents had been reported, Harrison’s retrieved the Power Treats for broad testing of molds, mycotoxins, poisons, and other pathogens.
Upon retrieval, I observed this food myself (having dealt with grain-based food for many years I am well-versed in how these foods should smell) and noted the conspicuously farm-fresh odor of this food. The sample was rushed to the independent lab regardless.
As such testing takes up to a few weeks to finalize we continued our investigation by hiring and consulting with a professional avian pathologist who informed that it was unlikely that birds would succumb so quickly to the food-related pathogen.
Immediate death in parrots is most often associated with exposure to in-home toxicity (carbon monoxide, non-stick fumes etc.) and that food pathogen-related illnesses typically take days or even weeks to develop. I then contacted Ms. Moulesong recommending she install carbon monoxide detectors in her home for personal safety and the safety of her other pets (A good idea also for any person reading this).
Our investigation continued when we acquired the formal, documented report from the emergency veterinarian who saw the first bird. The report indicated that Ms. Moulesong’s bird was presented that evening after it had been “syringe-fed and began to choke”.
This is clinically significant as syringe-feeding is an extremely risky process that often results in aspiration of a bird’s lungs and subsequent death. The bird was also noted as noticeably thin, feather-plucked, and potentially PDD-positive (a typically fatal auto-immune disease).
These facts had never been relayed to us nor had they been shared in any of Ms. Moulesong’s many online postings that are known to us.
The lab results on the sampling did finally return – revealing formally that the food was indeed perfectly safe to feed. The death of any pet is tragic and no words can describe how one feels during the grieving period.
That said, the details of the demise of these birds are clearly consistent with the risky activity performed by Ms. Moulesong (syringe-feeding and subsequent aspiration) while no evidence whatsoever indicates negligence on the part of Harrison’s Bird Foods.
Ms. Moulesong has been advised of these findings and has been informed that Harrison’s has performed due-diligence and incurred expenditures above and beyond legal necessity considering there were no necropsies performed.
Harrison’s is very thankful for the rationality and kind support shown by the ownership and other members of this page.
J. Coffinberry
Harrison’s Bird Foods
7108 Crossroads Blvd. Suite 325
Brentwood, TN 37027

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