Legisislative Rights for Parrots
Supporting People Who Support Parrots
Thank you for your time reviewing our proposed bills. We have spoken to numerous rescues and bird owners, all who have different ways of caring for parrots. In order to create bills to take to legislation, we need your input!
1. Definitions to support birds in existing cruelty laws. (posted on this page)
2. A Standard of Care meeting the minimum needs of pet birds (click here for the page)
3. Cruelty laws written which can be adjusted to meet the needs of your state. (posted on this page)
4. Responses to comments made to our draft of the bills. (posting shortly)
Because there aren't any definitions for parrots, we are using the Federal Definitions for Pet birds and Commercial birds (9 CFR SS 93.100)
Pet birds: Birds, except ratites, which are imported for the personal pleasure of their individual owners and are not intended for resale.
Commercial birds: Birds which are imported for resale, breeding, public display, or any other purpose, except pet birds, zoological birds, research birds or performing or theatrical birds.
WE NEED YOUR INVOLVEMENT! For those who have responded, we have made changes to our bills.
State Cruelty and Neglect Definitions and Bill
Definitions for adding pet and commercial birds to the Cruelty Bill:
AVIAN FLIGHT HARNESS: A specifically designed strap for parrots that is safely utilized following the manufacturer's instructions to keep the person and bird attached.
AVIARY: An outdoor place designed with non-toxic metals that provides proper spacing of openings to prevent entrapment of the pet or commercial bird and protects the bird from predators. An outdoor aviary shall be designed to protect the bird from adverse weather conditions and provide both shade and access to sun and is only in use when temperatures support safe housing of birds outside.
BLOOD FEATHERS: An actively growing feather that contains a blood supply. Fairly easy to identify, a blood feather has three main characteristics. One is that the quill or calamus is thicker and softer than a mature feather. The second characteristic is the length of the feather. Blood feathers are shorter than mature feathers since they have not yet grown to their full length. Third, and most easily identifiable, is the color of the shaft of the quill. Because there is active blood supply to the feather, the quill shaft looks dark -maroon, bluish-purple, or black in color- instead of the usual white or clear look of a fully emerged feather.
BLUNTING: A procedure whereby the tip of the bird's beak is removed creating a flat horizontal surface that is unnatural to the shape of the bird's beak. The purpose of this procedure is to prevent harmful biting to a handler while inhibiting the bird to properly use its beak for activities such as but not limited to movement and eating.
DUTY OF CARE: Action whereby or written guidelines that individuals, rescues, for-profit and non-profit organizations follow to ensure that basic care is minimally administered to ensure the mental, psychological, and physical needs of the bird is met.
FLIPPERS: Also known as dealers. Any dealer or person who is not a registered non-profit, a business not registered, or government entity that takes in birds and resells them. This does not include registered pet stores or registered 501(c)3 rescues, nor individuals who are rehoming a single bird due to circumstances.
PREDATORY ANIMAL: Any mammal, amphibian, reptile or raptor that may harm a pet bird causing mental or physical distress or death.
PROPER WING TRIMMING: Trimming of the primary wing feathers whereas the clipping is short enough to prevent flying yet the trimmed primary wing feathers are kept long enough to protect the newly grown wing feathers, known as blood feathers, from harm. See BLOOD FEATHERS.
RESCUE: An organization, profit or not, that takes in displaced animals including birds at a local facility or through foster homes with a dedication to adopt out the animal. Most rescues are registered with the Federal and State agencies and are non-profit. Their mission is to re-home animals including pet and commercial birds while following a Duty of Care to meet a standard of care. See DUTY OF CARE.
STANDARD OF CARE: An established level of minimal requirements whereby any person, organization, or business is required to meet through daily operations or in their policy of care, written or not.
TOXIC ITEMS: Items such as fragrance candles, plug-ins, sprays, aerosols, therapeutic or essential oils that are harmful to birds, incense, cigarette, e-cigarretes or pipe smoke, cookware with a non-stick coating, small appliances with non-stick or other toxic coatings, turkey cooking bags, newly installed cooking appliances that have not been vented while the pet bird was present in the home.
TOXIC FOODS: Avocado, mushrooms, onion, certain tomatoes, chocolate, xylitol, uncooked garlic, caffeinated foods or drink, alcohol, salt, high fat and high sugar foods or drink, dairy, fruit pits/seeds, or any food that is harmful to a specific species.
TOXIC TOYS: Toys that are made with nickel, zinc or lead.
Last Revision 8/8/19
Pet and Commercial Bird Cruelty and Neglect
A. Torturing, injuring or abandoning animals; failure to provide proper sustenance; requirements for restraining pet and commercial birds and using indoor and outdoor enclosures; penalties; exceptions
1. A person shall not:
(a) Torture, cruelly beat, or unjustifiably injure, maim, mutilate, or kill a pet or commercial bird.
(i.) Maiming or Mutilation of a pet bird includes but is not limited to
(1) breaking of toes preventing proper perching and there is no veterinary care for follow-up of the condition or
(2) clipping of the toenails too short to allow proper grasping of perches, or
(3) performing blunting by removing the tip of the beak to create a flat horizontal surface to minimize the injury of a bite to a person which distorts the natural shape of the bird's beak or any other breakage or harm preventing eating or climbing, or
(4) breaking of the pet bird's wing(s) or
(5) trimming or removal of feathers causing improper balance
(6) unjustifiably injure a bird's eye(s)
(7) any other area visibly showing injury upon observation, that has not received appropriate veterinary care within reasonable time from the injury, that due to the lack of care, could leave the pet bird permanently disabled.
(ii.) Exception: Except proper trimming of primary wing feathers as performed safely.
(b) Provide proper healthful food and water
(i.) Ensure toxic fruits and vegetables are not fed to pet or commercial birds
(ii.) provide potable water that is clean and regularly available unless otherwise directed by a veterinarian.
(c) Deprive a pet or commercial bird of safe, adequate housing and shelter
(i.) A cage or indoor aviary made of non-toxic material which does not allow adequate space of the bird's wingspan, one and a half times its length prior to wing clipping and
(ii.) does not allow the ease of movement for the length of tail, and ease of movement to food and water and
(iii.) does not allow proper air flow including proper tempering of air temperatures and
(iv.) does not provide natural or artificial lighting during the day and darkness at night and
(v.) with knowledge of positive test results for disease testing, does not house birds in the same environment that are not tested or carriers of the same disease such as but not limited to psittacosis, Newcastle's disease, avian herpes, and any other bird disease which may be harmful to other pet birds
(vi.) Exceptions for allowing smaller cage size for housing of pet or commercial birds(s) includes
(a) housing for medical reasons
(b) to reduce mental stress such as but not limited to
(c) traveling in a vehicle or another mode of transportation whereby the bird may be housed safely with access to food and water during transport
(d) as required under veterinary advisement
(d) Deprive a pet or commercial bird of necessary mental and physical stimulation
(i) Does not provide acceptable mental stimulation with safe non-toxic toys or
(ii) Does not allow interaction with other pet birds or humans and
(iii) Does not provide visual and auditory stimulation within the bird's environment and
(iv) Does not provide more than one perch in the bird's space which is in good repair and
(e) Improper restraint of a pet or commercial bird
(i) The use of bounding the pet bird's legs shall be done in a manner that is for temporary use with the intent of protecting the bird. Unacceptable tethering includes:
(a) Tied, chained or otherwise restraining a pet bird to a perch or other affixed surface and the physical restrictions of the pet bird are not approved by a licensed veterinarian or a licensed pet bird specialist identified through Wildlife Fish and Parks or another Federal or State approved Authority pet bird specialist
(b) Exceptions for tethering or chaining a pet or commercial bird includes:
(i) A pet bird tethered, chained, tied or restrained or placed in a pen or enclosure by a licensed veterinarian, as defined in NRS 574.330, during the course of treatment;
(ii) A proper avian harness or flight harness is in use while under active adult supervision of an individual and the pet bird is not left unattended at any time during the attachment of the harness;
(iii) A professionally licensed or trained veterinarian, zoo keeper, animal control officer, or another individual recognized by the Federal, State, or local authorities may chain or tether or restrain a bird for the intent of insuring the safety of the pet bird for travel or medical assistance and
(c) approval for the use of tethering pet birds by a person that is registered as a business, non-profit, or as an entity for the sale or resale of pet birds or the lack of registering as a business or as an entity for sale or resale of pet birds is prohibited.
(f) Leave or confine a pet bird in an unattended motor vehicle under conditions that endanger the health or well-being of the bird, including, but not limited to, heat, cold, lack of adequate ventilation, lack of food or water, or other circumstances that could reasonably be expected to cause suffering, disability or death of the bird.
2. Temporary Care of Homeless Pet Birds
(a) Pet or commercial birds temporarily being cared for as a part of a rescue operation by a facility operated by a person, Humane Society, Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, or any nonprofit organization, for the care of homeless pet birds, must meet the minimum Standard of Care for pet and commercial birds.
3. Shows, Event Exhibitions, and Boarding Facilities
(a) Pet and commercial birds in attendance at and participating in an exhibition, show, contest or other event, the pet bird shall be tested for disease and have proof of the test results performed by a State accredited lab in the last year, and documentation shall be provided at anytime upon request of the event coordinator, State or local Authorities, or other participants.
(i) Perform disease tests specific to that species such as, but not limited to, psittacosis, beak and feather disease (PBFD), Newcastle's disease, herpes and avian influenza.
(b) Any pet or commercial bird boarding facility shall require documentation of boarded birds with disease testing as required in 3(a)(1).
4. No person who breeds pet or commercial birds shall:
(a) Breed a proven pair no more than three times a year, or
(b) as directed by the advice of a licensed veterinarian
(c) whereby breeding creates adverse health conditions to parent pet birds or their offspring
(d) remove eggs or offspring prior to proper weaning whereby the fledglings are not able to eat solid foods on their own and maintain or gain weight
(e) Improperly feed pre-weaned birds which may cause
(i) crop burns, drownings, starvation or infections
(ii) physical defects or behavioral problems
If you would like a copy of the bill in a document format, please email us and we will send you the most recent draft