This customs case takes place in Wisconsin and involves a rare bird that died due to inadequate care, necessitating the services of an appraisal expert witness to evaluate the bird’s value. The plaintiff owned a collection of rare and exotic animals, including a bird with extremely specific care instructions. In order to maintain the animals, the plaintiff had hired a third party company. Over an extended period of time, the keepers sent by the company disregarded the bird’s care instructions. Eventually, the plaintiff returned from a two week vacation to find the bird dead.
Question(s) For Expert Witness
- 1. Are you familiar with the valuation of animals? Please elaborate.
- 2. Have you ever served as an expert witness on a case similar to the one described above?
- 3. Please tell us why you're qualified to serve as an expert reviewer of this case.
Expert Witness Response E-009724
I am very familiar with animal valuation. I currently own and operate my own ranch where we valuate and sell exotic animals. The valuation depends on a number of factors besides the obvious physical description. The birds are similar to horses in that they are bred to certain specifications — bird valuation depends on their lineage and area of origin (domestic birds being much more affordable than imported Japanese variety). I have not served as an expert but welcome the opportunity and feel very well qualified to do so.
Expert Witness Response E-009904
My expertise comes from extensive training at Suda Yogi Yojyo in Niigata, Japan. I spent 3 summers at Suda selecting these birds to grow to a larger size, and guiding buying tours to hobbyists around the world. For 10 years, I had worked as a design engineer for an exotic animal habitat company. After that, I started my own breeding company and have developed this business into a national business. We currently supply businesses and hobbyists in the United States and Europe selling over 200,000 birds per year.