Animal Aid

BUDGIE VIRUS - Letter to Solihull council

Posted 1 August 2003
Sick parrot at NEC show. Credit: Environmental Investigation Agency

The outbreak of a mysterious budgerigar virus means that IPC Media should do like other event organisers and cancel the NEC Bird Market. Our letter to Solihull MBC reminds them of their responsibilities.

Mr S Lawson
Principal Environmental Officer
Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council
PO Box 24
Council House
B91 3QT

July 30, 2003

Dear Mr Lawson

NEC Cage & Aviary Bird Sale

I write to you regarding the recent outbreak of a budgerigar virus. The Budgerigar Society has taken responsible action and has strongly advised its members not to attend any bird event and, as a result, many shows have been cancelled (see We trust that you will also take appropriate action and withdraw the licence for this year's NEC event.

While the suspected pathogenic agent is PMV-5, which is highly specific to budgerigars, DEFRA's Veterinary Exotic Disease Division states that "there is evidence that psittacine species closely related to budgerigars may also be infected."

The Local Authority is obliged to ensure that event organisers comply with the Pet Animals Act 1951 and make certain "that all reasonable precautions will be taken to prevent the spread amongst animals of infectious diseases." This virus potentially affects a large volume of birds and more than one species and there is also the possibility of the virus mutating and affecting other animals. Responsible bird keepers, sales people and event organisers should therefore take urgent steps to avoid bringing their birds into contact or close proximity with others. IPC claim that there were only 10,000 to 15,000 birds at the event and that a good proportion of these birds were captive-bred budgerigars. Our visiting expert at the event, however, claims that there were 70,000 birds being offered for sale on one day.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Yours faithfully

R Sardo

Cc Chief Executive
Legal department
All elected members

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