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. (click here for this page)

2.  A Standard of Care meeting the minimum needs of pet birds  (posted on this page)

3.  Cruelty laws written which can be adjusted to meet the needs of your state.  (click here for this page)

4.  Responses to comments made to our draft of the bills. (posted 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.  

 Federal and State Bill Proposal- Standard of Care

Definitions for adding pet and commercial birds to the Standard of Care Bill:

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.  Also known as a cage.

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.

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.

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  

Standard of Care

Standard of Care:  An established level of minimal requirements whereby any rescues, breeders, pet stores, flippers and any pet or commercial bird owner or caregiver shall meet.  The Standard of Care is set forth under environmental conditions, diet, mental and physical health, quarantine procedures, disease testing and maintenance of records.

  1.  A person shall:

      (a)  In the environment, keep a pet or commercial bird in an appropriate environment

            (i)  free of toxic fumes or surfaces or any toxic materials

            (ii)  provide proper lighting during the day and darkness at night

            (iii)  protect the bird from adverse weather conditions and excessive heat and cold

            (iv)  protect the bird from predatory animals such as mammals, reptile, amphibians and raptors that                           can cause harm.

            (v)  provide fresh potable water and a varied diet meeting the needs of that species

            (vi)  provide adequate cage space allowing ease for the bird to spread its wings and free movement of the                     tail with non-toxic toys in place, perches of various sizes and other items located inside the cage                             space

            (vii)  provide an area with surfaces clean from filth such as fecal matter and build-up of food                                             contaminants

      (b)  meet the same requirements as stated in 1(a) through (c) for more than one bird sheltered in the same                   cage or enclosure

            (i)  ensure enough space and perches for each pet or commercially kept bird that allows free movement                      without hinderance of other birds in the same enclosure and

            (ii) protects birds sensitive to dander of other species are kept in an area that does not affect their health                    adversely

      (c)  meet the dietary requirements of a pet or commercially kept bird:

            (i)  provide non-toxic fruits and vegetables as well as a balanced diet 

            (ii)  provide any other nutritional requirement specific to that species

            (iii)  ensure all nutritional values required for the bird's health is incorporated in the diet and is not a                            seed-based diet unless required under a certified veterinarian based on species and health concern.

      (d)  provide all necessary physical health care for preventative, emergency or other needs of care for pet and               commercial birds including

            (i)  any rescue, breeder, flipper or pet store shall be required to disease test and quarantine birds for at                        least 30 days in a separate ventilated area while following the quarantine procedures as outlined in                       Section 2.

  2.  A person or entity, such as, but not limited to, rescues, pet shops, and breeders, shall meet the minimum               disease and quarantine requirements:

      (a) Each bird shall be disease tested for psittacosis and any other disease known for that species such as but              not limited to beak and feather disease (PBFD), PDD, NewCastle's disease, herpes and avian influenza.

      (b)  Each test shall be performed whenever the bird has been exposed to other psittacines who have not                       been tested.

      (c)  Exception:  Once a bird has been tested and not exposed to other pet birds and there is existing                               paperwork on disease test results, follow-up testing is not required for five years.

      (d)  Each bird shall be quarantined for at least 30 days and

            (i)  The 30 days begins with the last bird entered in the quarantine area, and

            (ii)  The quarantine area shall be on a separate ventilation system, and

            (iii)  Birds in the same quarantine period must be identified by the bird's name, origin, State lab testing                        results, and a form of identification must be provided for each bird.

  (This space is intentially blank for printing purposes)

      (e)  Any breeder of a pet or commercial bird shall be required to disease test a sample of their birds prior to                rehoming of any birds once a year for those birds kept in the general population after initial quarantine              and disease testing.

      (f)  Pet shops, rescue or flippers who have pet birds that test positive for disease may not sell a bird unless                  the new owner is educated on proper care and restrictions placed on untreatable diseased birds.

      (g)  Any pet or commercial bird attending a bird expo or event shall have disease testing done within the                     last year and records provided to the proper activity coordinators and kept on person during the event.

      (h)  Any pet or commercial bird entering the U.S. must follow quarantine and disease testing requirements                   as outlined in Federal Law 9 CFR 93.106- Quarantine requirements.

      (i)  Exclusions of bird disease testing include:

            (i) Private bird owners moving their domicile from one state to another, and

            (ii)  Do not participate with their birds at bird events or purchase bird supplies at events, and

            (iii)  Have records on file with their bird disease test results from a previous owner or breeder or pet                              store or flipper showing negative test results of disease of concern particular to that species in the                          last five years.

      (j) Should a bird test positive while in quarantine, the owner shall:

            (i)  Notify either animal control, a State accredited lab or another approved State Authority or a                                    veterinarian within 7 days of the results, and

            (ii)  Be seen by a licensed avian veterinarian within 14 days or as soon as the veterinarian can schedule a                      visit, and

            (iii)  Disease retesting for the positive test result shall be repeated after treatment if the disease is                                   treatable

      (k)  The bird shall remain in quarantine during treatment of not less than 30 days unless the test is positive               for a disease that is untreatable, and

            (i)  Birds that test positive for untreatable disease must not be housed with or have exposure to other                          birds unless the exposed birds are positive for the same disease.

  3.  No person who breeds pet or commercial birds shall:

      (a)  Breed proven pairs no more than three times a year, or

      (b)  as directed by the advice of a licensed avian 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 fledgelings are not able to eath solid                       foods on their own and maintain or gain weight

      (e)  Improperly feed pre-weened birds which may cause

            (i)  crop burns, drownings, starvation or infections

            (ii)  physical defects or behavioral problems

  4.  Provide mental stimulation for any pet or commercial bird

      (a)  provide non-toxic handmade or commercial toys, and/or non-toxic wood for chewing and/or foraging                   materials, and musical or visual entertainment

      (b)  provide interaction safely with the outside environment, other birds or humans

      (c)  prevent due stress from predatory animals such as mammals, amphibians, reptiles or birds of prey                         moving about in their environment

  5.  Maintain updated record keeping:

      (a) Any person or entity such as a breeder, rescue, pet store or flipper shall provide due diligence in good                    faith to maintain a chain of custody record on each bird

            (i)  Document the origin of the bird providing the date and location, and records updtated to maintain                        ownership and vet records on each bird, and keep records onsite, and

            (ii)  provide chain of custody documents with the bird during time of travel within and outside the state                       of origin

(This space is left blank intentionally for printing purposes)

  6.  Feather Plucking and Self-mutilation

      (a)  Pet or commercial birds may exhibit behavioral conditions of feather plucking or self-mutilation.                           However, as pet or commercial kept birds, the owner, rescue, pet store or breeder or flipper shall

            (i)  Provide immediate veterinarian care to the pet or commercial bird for the condition

            (ii)  Follow up with the veterinarian as recommended

            (iii)  Document the improvement, stationary condition or decline of condition showing that a duty of                            care was performed to meet the Standard of Care requirements upon request.

       (b)  Meets all Standards of Care as outlined. 

  7.  Protection of the respiratory system of other parrots and humans

      (a)  Cockatoos, African Greys, Amazons or other pet and commercial birds producing high levels of dander                 shall be kept in an area separate from

            (i)  Macaws and other species with respiratory systems sensitive to dander that can cause illness or                               respiratory ailments

             (ii)  Shall provide proper ventilation or air recirculation to prevent adverse health conditions with                               sufficient space separating their cages to prevent chronic exposure to dander

            (iii)  Shall separate sleeping quarters of humans which will allow adverse sensitivity conditions to                                  dander or illness of respiratory ailments.  Bird enclosures must be kept separate for sleeping or                              caging quarters from sensitive birds or human individuals or have air treatment in place to protect                        sensitive parrot species and humans.


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