Avian Welfare Resource Center from the The Avian Welfare Coalition (AWC) is a grassroots network of representatives from avian welfare, animal protection, and humane organizations dedicated to the ethical treatment and protection of birds living in captivity and in their natural habitats. The mission of the AWC is to prevent the abuse, exploitation, and suffering of captive birds, and to address the crucial issues of rescue, placement, and sanctuary for displaced birds. The AWC also supports efforts to insure the survival of wild birds and the conservation of their natural habitats.



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Aviculture is a Broken Car

by Sybil Erden, Director, The Oasis Sanctuary

Well, maybe Aviculture isn't a broken car…Maybe Aviculture is the manufacturer of cars, a manufacturer who sells the notion that it is so good that it can't break…and as a result doesn't plan for the future.

This is an analogy.

This is a truth.

Aviculture has been telling the public for years that there are no unwanted birds. That the breeders are doing ornithology and conservation a service by preserving otherwise doomed species. By breeding birds meant to fly miles a day, and placing them in cages. By breeding more and more birds who no longer know they are birds, birds so neurotic and confused that they no longer know how to do something as natural as breed or fly. All for profit. Aviculture continues to tell us that there simply is no problem.

If Aviculture were a Ford or Chevy or Hyundai manufacturer and told us that (1) their cars don't break and won't break and that (2) as a result of statement #1 they do not need to create spare parts nor do they need to train mechanics, we would laugh in their faces. But let's say they have a great advertising company…and we, for some reason, buy the lie…

If Aviculture built cars, their cars today would be stalled by the roadside in ever-growing numbers.

We in rescue are the mechanics. We are called daily to the roadside by frustrated and confused car owners, people who beg us to tow away and trash their no longer working cars.

But birds are not cars. If they were, our situation would be simpler. We could tow away, crush and compact the cars…and make tin cans…

We, however, deal with life. Birds are most certainly self-aware, feeling, intelligent and sentient beings. And their caregivers, frustrated by misinformation, misled about the true intensity of caregiving…forever, seemingly…these difficult and challenging beings….or simply tired, as we trained by our disposable society are prone to be, of this newest toy…and wish to "trade it in"…perhaps for a baby or a new spouse.

And still Aviculture, the manufacturer of broken cars, broken promises, broken dreams and broken hearts, tells us that if they need to plan ahead that we will all lose our right to own this car…

There is no right to own a car. There certainly is no right to own a life. It is time that we grow up and take responsibility for the decisions made today and the effect those decisions will have on the future. Our future, the birds' future, our children's future…

It is time for Aviculture to leave its cloister, to walk out onto the roadway and see the wreckage they are leaving behind.


Copyright 2002 Sybil Erden, The Oasis Sanctuary.

All material Copyright © 2002–2010 Avian Welfare Coalition, unless otherwise noted. Contact us to request reprint permission.

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