Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Trouble in Missouri

There are some laws about keeping pet animals that I completely understand. Then, there are those people out there who for whatever reason just don't get it. There is a bill in the works in Missouri that would ban all pet birds. From the tiny budgie, commonly called a parakeet, to the largest macaw, all birds would be illegal to own, sell, or breed. Of course, in response to the questioning of this bill by the AFA and other organizations, the legislator who introduced the bill said that there would be an exception to pet birds.

First of all, I do not understand what some people have against aviculture. Like religion, no one is forced to become a bird owner. In fact, responsible sellers and breeders highly discourage anyone from owning a bird unless they are ready for the huge responsibility of owning a bird. It's not a task for people who's heart isn't in it. Taking on any pet, but especially a bird, is bringing another member of the family into the house. This isn't a whim for a couple of years, either. There are some birds who will outlive their owners and must be put into a will. I know my little ones will be around for the next fifteen to thirty years. My children will probably be changing the bottom of their cages for chores! But I certainly wouldn't force someone to come up to my apartment if they weren't comfortable with the fact that I share my life with nine parrots.

Second of all, what are the options for these birds if they do become illegal? Is killing all pet birds, breeders, and young babies something the government really wants to take on? Whether it's releasing them into the wild or euthanizing them, it will mean death for these sweet creatures who do not know how to forage in the wild on their own and cannot survive with their wild counterparts in the wild any longer. This type of legislation is wrong and should never be allowed to become a law. There is no reason why pet birds cannot coexist with people in their homes as pets. This is why I am glad for organizations like the AFA.