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Pet stores selling sadness, The Parrot Population Explosion

November 16, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 766

  It  is a blast of nuclear proportions and it is the populations explosion which is the skyrocketing numbers of parrots in North America. Their long lifespan and the general lack of educated owners to keep these birds happy and well adjusted, all adds up to impending crisis for the parrot rescue community across the continent.

  Experts have already completed several studies and crunched the numbers, and it is staggering, the parrot population including Macaws and Cockatoos, in the last 20 years has exploded from 12 million to over 60 million in 2010. This number is expected to top out at over 100 million by 2020. These horrifying statistics were compiled from several Pet Industry sources as well as breeder organizations, and the American Veterinary Medical Association and the Avian Welfare Coalition. 

 As someone who works in the parrot behavior field and is part of the rescue community these numbers are extremely troubling.

 In our rescue in Nova Scotia we service the 3 Maritimes provinces and house on average 8-16+ bird at any given time small compared to our US counterparts.  Since the average parrot can live from 60-100+ years .It is inevitable these bird will have to adjust to anywhere from 7-11 different homes in their lifetime.  There are literally hundreds of thousand of parrots that have been rescued or surrendered to nearly 250 Parrot sanctuary and rescues every year. Many of these shelters are being forced to house anywhere from 100-2000 each across North America. 

 The average person is just not ready or equipped to deal with the emotional, social and physical needs of a parrot over its entire lifetime. In fact it is common for bird to outlive their owners. In the past few years however it seems he trend has become “The Novelty wears off” resulting in an increasingly steep increase in the number of abandon or abused parrots.

The ever-increasing tragedy is that Parrots have become the third most popular pets next to dogs and cats but unlike dogs, which are domesticated, for the most part they are only 3-4 generations out of the wild!

  This explosion is in a large part being driven buy the huge pet industry sectors, and the huge economic gains are the goal. Pet Food Manufacturers, Pet stores, cage manufacturers all have a vested interest in seeing the population boom, with little regard for what happens to the birds after they are sold.

 Many feed manufacturers own or are affiliated with huge breeding farms. Kaytee Pet Products which sells in box store like Petsmart, Wal-Mart etc has an affiliated parrot mill called Kaytee Preferred birds, and other Parrot Mills and domestic breeders add more than 2 million parrots to the problem every year in North America!

 Most parrots are flock birds and need the companionship and social interaction with others of their kind, but we have taken that away from them. Most breeders remove hatching babies from parent within hours of hatching and hand feed them to “Human Imprint” fooling them into thinking they are humans. Unfortunately a extremely large percentage of these highly intelligent birds have suffered from some form of social and

  Almost 99 percent of all parrots show some form of mental or physical damage of being in captivity. Most turn to self-mutilation such as feather plucking or social behavioural roblems.  These social and behavioural problems make it a long process to help find adoptive homes for these birds. One of our permanent resident a 10-year-old Umbrella Cockatoo, named “Frannie” was left alone too often with no one to interact with she became so lonely she chewed the toes off her left foot. The pain of loneliness could only be lessened by self-mutilation.

 There is something that you can do to help:

People can make a difference for the birds and get educated about their plight so they can in turn educate others. Parrots are living things, with feelings and cannot be sold or traded like furniture just because of their high price tag.  Organizing a picket line in front of a pet store selling parrots, even handing out copies of this article to passer-by.

 Here are some steps you can take:

  •     Volunteer at your local parrot sanctuary.
  •     Support your local sanctuaries with donations; even small amounts add up.
  •     Educate friends about the plight of parrots and encourage them to get involved
  •     Support and join a local Parrot sanctuary
  •     Become a foster home for a homeless parrot
  •     Be an advocate for a high standard of care for captive parrots.
  •     Never “BUY” parrots. If you know how to provide a good home and want to

                add a parrot to your family, always adopt from a parrot sanctuary or rescue.

  •  DO NOT BUY FROM OR SUPPORT BREEDERS Or Pet Stores, no matter what a breeder tells you about his contribution to endangered specie being a good thing etc,                       Parrot Rescues are full of  “Contributions to endangered species”
  • Support the World Parrot Trust and The Avian Welfare Coalition Organizations like these have been working tirelessly to help save the habitat where these birds live and encouraging Legislators to push for stricter enforcement of smuggling laws.
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