By Brian Farmer, PA News,Tue 3 Aug 2004
A couple tonight told how they had stopped smoking to save the life of their pet parrot.
Father-of-four Kevin Barclay, 42, and partner Sharon Wood, a caterer in her 30s, of Shoeburyness, Essex, quit on the advice of a vet six weeks ago.
Mr Barclay, a house husband, said their African Orange Wing parrot JJ was wheezing and had a blocked nose.
Vet Glen Cousquer, who runs a surgery in nearby Wickford, told the couple that the bird was suffering from passive smoking.
“We stopped for the sake of our parrot,” said Mr Barclay. “We stopped about six weeks ago and within about two weeks JJ was fine.
“The vet thought it might be aerosols or perfume, but he eliminated all those and said the problem was passive smoking. I was smoking about 35 roll-ups a day and Sharon about 20 cigarettes a day.”
Mr Cousquer added: “Passive smoking can be a real problem for pets, especially birds. It’s amazing that the issue doesn’t get a lot more publicity.
“It makes perfect sense if you think about it. Birds in the wild live in trees and clean environments. They will suffer in smoky atmospheres. They can develop problems which can be fatal. My advice is, if you have a pet, especially a bird, don’t smoke.”