October 11, 2006 : 10:20 PM
There will be no more itinerant bird fairs in the UK!
The new Animal Welfare Bill is just about to pass in the UK Parliament, and it will put an end to the nefarious pet fairs, dotted across the UK, in which traders in wild-caught parrots sold birds cheaply to people who often bought them on a whim and had no idea how to care for them.
Many thousands of these beautiful and intelligent tropical birds never even survived the journey from their native country. They died sometime between the terrifying moment of being captured in the forest and the long, crowded, stressful ordeal of traveling hundreds of miles. Those who did survive often found themselves crammed into a traveling van, trekking around the UK from one pet fair to another until they either died or were sold.
Congratulations to Greg Glendell, Director of ParrotsFirst, to Elaine Toland, Director of the Animal Protection Agency, and to the others who have been part of this courageous and determined fight to protect wild parrots from this cruel exploitation! This was a hard-fought struggle waged over a number of years.
There are still more battles to fight in other countries to protect the rights of birds not to be captured from the wild and sold. This legal victory though is a landmark on the way towards the day when all birds and wildlife will be able to live at peace, safe and undisturbed in their native habitat.
The following release is from BirdsFirst:
The Animal Welfare Bill, currently in its final stages in
Parliament, will have powers to ensure there is no commercial trading
in pet animals at pet fairs and other similar bird markets. The Bill
had intended to allow these events to take place under a 'licensing'
BirdsFirst and the Animal Protection Agency (APA) had long objected
to a return of the itinerant trade in pet animals, since this had
been outlawed in the 1983 amendment to the Pet Animals Act 1951 (P A Act). Bird dealers and sales organisers including the Parrot Society
and IPC magazines had tried to continue to organise these one-day
trade events at various locations around the country. At these
events, thousands of birds were being offered for sale, many of the
birds were wild-caught parrots from tropical countries around the
world. It had been a common sight at these pet fairs to see
traumatised parrots and cockatoos being sold on the cheap to a
gullible public looking for a 'bargain bird'. APA and BirdsFirst
managed to stop traders from selling pets at these events by
reminding local authorities of their powers under the current
legislation (PA Act).
Greg Glendell, the UK's only full-time pet parrot behaviourist and
director of BirdsFirst said:
"It is a real step in the right direction for pet bird welfare to
see that Defra have now agreed to ensure there will be no return to
the itinerant pet bird trade when the Animal Welfare Bill becomes
law, probably in the new year. There remains a wealth of bird
welfare issues we will need to address in the second stage of the
Bill (Act) which relate to breeding, hand rearing, cage sizes and
wing-clipping of birds. Many of these practices cause parrots severe
To read more, please go to these websites:
Greg Glendell, BSc (hons)
Animal Protection Agency
Avian Welfare Coalition