Avian Welfare Issues
From Extinction to Euthanasia
Parrots and other exotic birds are not domesticated animals; they are the native species of other countries. They are adapted for life in the wild, not our homes.
They live in two opposing worlds — and they are threatened in both.
In the wild, habitat destruction, poaching, and the cruelties of the legal and illegal trade in exotic animals menace them. Some species face extinction.
Here in the United States, ironically, there’s a crisis of a different sort: a surplus of these same species end up in shelter and rescue facilities. The vast majority of captive birds live in situations that fail to meet their true physical and behavioral needs, and each year thousands become victims of abuse, neglect and displacement; some even face the fate of being euthanized.
The fight on behalf of exotic birds — for their welfare and very survival — must be waged on many fronts: in rain forests, grasslands, cliffs, and brush regions around the globe, as well as in breeding facilities, pet stores, zoos, and our nation’s living rooms. Animal-protection statutes must be enforced and, if necessary, amended. Breeding and sales must be regulated. The fight will demand international cooperation, conservation campaigns, and other initiatives.
Remember: Outside of special directed release programs, captive birds cannot be returned to the wild; they cannot be set free to fend for themselves. They do not possess the learned skills necessary to survive.
We have an ethical responsibility to provide the best care possible for those living in captivity. Parrots and other exotic birds deserve the same protection—including legal safeguards and shelter for those victimized by abuse, neglect, or displacement—afforded to domestic pets and other wild animals. In addition, conservation programs are needed to protect and preserve exotic birds in their natural habitats.
Better yet, just as we appreciate our own native wild birds flying freely outside our window, let us remember that the native birds of other countries also belong in the wild, not in our homes.
Learn more here:
For more information on exotic bird welfare, and how you can help, visit the following web sites and links:
www.NationalBirdDay.org - Help to raise awareness about the plight of captive birds by participating in National Bird Day, January 5th!
www.MoreBeautifulWild.org - Join Born Free USA’s “Keep Wildlife in the Wild” Campaign.