The Animal Protection Institute (API) in coordination
with the Avian Welfare Coalition is calling on activists around the U.S.
to take action on behalf of captive birds by drawing attention to the
exploitation of other country's native birds by the U.S. pet industry on
January 5 -- National Bird Day.
"National Bird Day" is not only a good day to take time
to appreciate the native wild birds flying free outside our windows, it
is also a perfect time to reflect on how we treat the native birds of
other countries. While we have enacted laws to protect our native birds
-- such as blue jays, cardinals, and crows -- from commercial
exploitation, we fail to recognize the inconsistency in allowing the pet
industry to exploit the birds of other countries.
Even when bred in captivity, exotic birds are not
considered domesticated animals, and all their inherent behavioral and
physical needs remain intact. Sadly, when it comes to birds, deprivation
of their natural behaviors (to fly and flock, for example) is an
inescapable component of their captivity.
Each year thousands of birds are sold into the pet trade
to individuals who are under the mistaken impression that a bird will
make a perfect pet. Eventually, whether due to frustration, disinterest,
or concern, many people attempt to rid themselves of the responsibility
of caring for their birds. Unfortunately, few of these birds will find a
loving home, and most will spend their days isolated and confined to
their cages. Others will bounce from home to home as "owners" tire of
them, and some may be abandoned at local shelters and birds rescues, set
free to fend for themselves or euthanized.
Meanwhile pet stores across the country including Petco
and PetsMart continue to treat birds like merchandise peddling them into
the pet trade. Pet stores that sell live animals are routinely faced
with conflicting responsibilities between caring for the health and well
being of the animals and protecting the store's bottom line. More often
than not it's the bottom line that prevails.
You can help! Join API and the Avian Welfare Coalition
in its first annual National Day of Action for Captive birds by helping
to educate the public about issues affecting captive birds and by asking
Petco and PetsMart not to sell live birds in their stores.
There are many ways you can participate:
+ Hold a peaceful protest and leaflet in front of a Petco or PetsMart to
educate their customers on why they should not support Petco or PetsMart
so long as they continue to sell birds (reproducible flyer available by
+ Drive to your local Petco and PetsMart stores and place flyers on the
windshields of cars parked in the parking lot. (reproducible flyer
available by contacting API)
+ Have an information table in a park or busy area about captive birds
(information available by contacting API)
+ Send a letter to the editor or Op-ed to your local newspaper
+ Write or Call Petco and PetsMart and let them know you won't patronize
their stores until they stop selling birds.
Attn: Customer Relations
19601 North 27th Ave
Phoenix, AZ 85027
1-800-738-1385 ext. 2518
Petco Animal Supplies
Attn: Customer Relations
9125 Recho Rd.
San Diego, CA 92121
1-800-541-2952 or 858-453-7845
We would like to compile a list of activities complete
with contact information so that interested people team up to
participate in planned leafleting and tabling events in their area. So
once you have decided what you want to do, email Monica Engebretson at
firstname.lastname@example.org so we can add your action to our list of
participants and activities.
If you get a letter to the editor published
in a newspaper please let us know and send a copy if possible to API,
P.O. Box 22505, Sacramento, CA 95822.
Go on to Meantime, or
how I spent my summer vacation by Paulette Callen
Return to 29 December 2002 Issue
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