Aviculture, Bird Mills & Retail Marketing
Over the past decade, "exotic pets" like parrots have become the rage even though they are challenging to keep in captivity. Large-scale "parrot mill" breeding operations, which supply popular warehouse pet store chains, are now producing thousands of potentially very long-lived parrot chicks each year to keep up with the demand for babies. It is next to impossible to properly socialize baby parrots under such "assembly line," high-production breeding conditions.
To make matters worse, when these birds are sold through warehouse pet stores, buyers rarely receive quality products or solid advice from an inexperienced staff. In addition, the display of gentle, adorable, juvenile birds in these stores leads to many being purchased on impulse — and a parrot purchased on impulse without serious preparation and education rarely finds a lifelong home.
Unfortunately, the public is still largely uneducated about the real challenges of keeping parrots in captivity. Many adolescent and adult parrots lose their homes when their "true colors" as wild animals start to shine. Thousands of mass-marketed birds are now displaced each year because neither these birds nor their buyers are properly prepared for success. The least fortunate birds are passed from home to home before dying from neglect or abuse, or they are euthanized. The lucky ones end up in adoption shelters or sanctuaries, which are now filling up fast!
Never buy a mass-marketed bird from a pet store! These companies will not stop mass-producing and selling birds until it is no longer profitable to do so. Encourage PETCO, PETsMART, and other pet stores to provide the same adoption services for parrots that they do for dogs and cats instead of selling birds in their stores. Your consumer dollars are a powerful vote against parrot homelessness!
Avian Welfare Issues: An Overview
Little Shops of Horror
Pet Retail – An Ugly Reality
Animals in the Retail
Is captive breeding for the pet trade really ‘responsible aviculture’?
by Becky Margison, Avian Protection Society