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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New Coalition Is Strictly "For the Birds": The Avian Welfare Coalition and Leading Animal Welfare Organizations Meet In DC to Address Protection and Welfare of Exotic Birds

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Arlington, VA – June 3, 2002 – This June, the Avian Welfare Coalition and representatives from major animal welfare organizations join forces in a Round Table meeting in Arlington, VA. Their goal is to address the need to provide more protection for captive birds and to stem the growing tide of unwanted birds from meeting the same fate as the millions of unwanted dogs and cats that are killed needlessly each year in U.S. shelters because there is a lack of good homes for them.

Although there has been much focus on the overpopulation of dogs and cats, until recently there has been little attention to the growing numbers of abused and abandoned exotic birds, reptiles and other non-native species that are now entering rescue and shelter facilities around the country.

In 1990, 11.6 million pet birds lived in the United Sates, according to the Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council. A study in The Journal of the American Veterinarian Medical Association in 1998 reported the population to be 35–40 million. Today, an estimated 60 million captive birds reside in the U.S. alone, and many of the larger parrot species have life expectancies of 50 years or more.

Parrots become displaced for many of the same reasons as dogs and cats; deaths, illnesses and other life-changing situations cause many to be re-homed. But the commercialization of birds and other exotic animals by the pet trade is contributing to growing numbers of these animals being given up when people discover that, compared to cats and dogs, they have far more complex personalities and care requirements.

Parrots are not domesticated animals. As with other exotic species, people are fascinated by the idea of having a parrot as a pet, but few are prepared for the special responsibility of caring for a wild creature that will most likely outlive them. What people often expect of a companion animal is completely out of sync with how parrots behave naturally and how they perceive the world around them.

The sad reality is that the lack of public education and protective animal welfare legislation in effect to specifically define the neglect and abuse of birds has had a sobering effect — far too many birds in captivity languish in substandard, neglectful and/or abusive conditions.

If you have an interest in covering this subject or in more information about The 2nd Annual Avian Welfare Round Table, please contact Denise Kelly or Krista Menzel, Avian Welfare Coalition Coordinators, at info@avianwelfare.org.

The Avian Welfare Coalition (AWC) is a grassroots network of representatives from avian welfare and animal advocacy groups 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 facilitate the rescue, rehabilitation, and adoption of displaced birds. Visit our web site at http://www.avianwelfare.org.

Denise Kelly and Krista Menzel, Coordinators

Avian Welfare Coalition (AWC)

E-mail: info@avianwelfare.org

Web Site: http://www.avianwelfare.org

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