Animal Aid

NATIONAL CAGE & AVIARY BIRDS EXHIBITION - Please help to slow down the trade in wild-caught birds

Posted 1 March 2003
Birds on sale at last 
        year's NEC fair. Credit: Captive Animals Protection Society

Solihull Council will shortly decide whether to license a trade fair in exotic birds at the NEC at end of the year. They have given a deadline of 10 March for objections - your letter or email could make all the difference and stop this annual event once and for all!

Animal Aid has joined forces with the Captive Animals' Protection Society and Birds First to oppose this fair, which is organised by IPC Magazines who publish Cage & Aviary Birds. It is the biggest on the bird-dealing calendar and is responsible for suffering and death on a monumental scale.

Credit: Captive Animals Protection Society

On 30 November last year, we sent Consultant Ornithologist and a former Senior Investigator of the RSPB, Peter Robinson along with a CAPS investigator, to the event. Robinson estimated that up to 70,000 birds were being offered for sale and that, at the very least, 75% of these birds would have been captured in the wild. The treatment of birds captured for the pet trade is invariably crude and brutal prior to the punishing air or overland journey to the country of import. We know from previous studies that up to three birds die for every one that reaches the pet shop - or, in this case, trade fair.

Many of the birds were housed in cages that were too small or overcrowded. Small groups of parrots were seen huddled together - obviously petrified by their experience. Other birds were sick, hunched over and picking at food items on the floor of their cages.

Credit: Captive Animals Protection Society

About a quarter of the stalls offered British birds for sale, like finches and song thrushes. Legally, these birds are supposed to carry, on one leg, a close fitting metal ring as proof that they have been bred in captivity. Even so, Peter Robinson noted illegal sales where several native birds carried rings that appeared to have been fitted illegally or not ringed at all. Several exotic species offered for sale were internationally classified as under threat of global extinction.

Credit: Captive Animals Protection Society

The Pet Animals Act 1951/1983 makes it a criminal offence to carry on the business of selling pet animals in public places. Any license granted by the Local Authority, would in any case be void and would have been issued illegally. Most local authorities, supported by the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health, have disallowed these events.

Please write a letter of objection to:

Mr S Lawson
Principal Environmental Officer
Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council
PO Box 19
Council House
B91 3QT


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