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No charges laid in case of dead young birds at Home Depot in Charlottetown

A customer leaves the Home Depot store in Charlottetown on Tuesday. The company’s head office and P.E.I. conservation officers are investigating the alleged wrongful death of baby birds that were nesting in the store in June.
A customer leaves the Home Depot store in Charlottetown in this file photo.

CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. - Provincial conservation officers will not be laying any charges in connection with the alleged death of young birds at the Home Depot in Charlottetown in early June.

Wade MacKinnon, chief conservation officer with the P.E.I. Department of Justice and Public Safety, said Thursday that the investigation has wrapped up.

An employee at the store first posted on Facebook in early June that she was told by a co-worker that a pest control company came in and destroyed three nests with live hatchlings in them in the store’s garden centre.

Related: Officials looking into whether young birds were wrongfully killed at Charlottetown Home Depot store

The employee told The Guardian in an interview that the store manager had told her he didn’t believe the pest control company had killed the birds. The manager told her that usually if there’s a nest with hatchlings in it, the pest control company will actually advise employees to leave the nest alone until the hatchlings are old enough to fly and then move them.

Home Depot’s head office was also investigating the matter.

“The birds were determined to be common grackles. These birds are not protected under the Migratory Bird Convention Act, nor the provincial Wildlife Conservation Act, so there will be no charges laid in this case.’’
Wade MacKinnon

MacKinnon said Thursday that conservation officers investigated complaints about the removal and subsequent destruction of a bird nest and chicks from the business.

“The birds were determined to be common grackles,’’ MacKinnon said. “These birds are not protected under the Migratory Bird Convention Act, nor the provincial Wildlife Conservation Act, so there will be no charges laid in this case.’’

MacKinnon did confirm the birds and nest were destroyed. However, he added that while the birds were not a protected species “we do have concerns about the manner in which the baby birds were handled and we have spoken to the pest control company.’’

MacKinnon said the department has advised the pest control company to provide additional training to its staff in P.E.I. on the humane treatment and removal of wildlife.

Islanders are also reminded they can report any wildlife violation to conservation officers at princeedwardisland.ca/reportpoaching.

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