One major focus of Legislative Rights for Parrots is educating legislators about the potential real-life consequences of laws and regulations proposed at the Federal and State level. Petitions and letter-writing campaigns are effective tools for the public to inform their representatives. If you are interested in joining our letter-writing campaigns, Volunteer with Us!

The Will of the People

The United States government operates under the concept known as Popular Sovereignty, meaning that all governmental authority is created and sustained by the consent of the people being governed. This means that if a law does not serve us, the people, we need to make our representatives aware of that fact. Submitting a complaint or petitioning the government to change laws or policies is a right guaranteed by the First Amendment. This applies to all levels of government: Federal, State, and Local. Drafting and delivering a petition is an excellent way to make elected officials aware of where their constituents stand on important issues.

There are a few steps to creating an effective petition:

1. Choose your audience carefully.

It is important to address your petition to the correct person or group, namely the one who has the power to make the change you’re requesting. This usually means creating separate petitions addressed to specfic elected officials if the issue in question affects a larger population such as an entire state or the United States as a whole.

2. Make a specific request.

Keep the message short and to the point, with a two- to three-sentence overview of the issue backed up by a similar number of supporting facts and evidence, then ask for a clear action such as voting for or against a certain bill, support or oppose specific legislation, or to encourage their colleagues to do the same.

3. Provide space for signatures.

The power of a petition is in demonstrating that your request matters to a large number of people. With paper petitions, create lines with enough room for both a signature and an address or zip code so signers can show that they’re all constituents of the elected official being addressed. Electronic petitions should also include this information, and it’s important to direct supporters to the correct petition for their own elected official.

4. Delivery matters.

Handing over a stack of paper to someone in your elected official’s office may not make the impression you hoped for. Creating an impactful visual such as delivering the many pages of your petition in boxes, bringing a group of like-minded people to deliver it, or contacting the media to cover the delivery of your petition may help emphasize how many people are invested in the issue and how serious they are about being heard.

Finding Your Senators

You can find contact information for your Senators with a few simple steps:

  • Go to this link: https://www.senate.gov/senators/senators-contact.htm

  • Choose your State.

  • Click “Contact” under a Senator’s name.

  • You will be referred to your Senator’s individual website, which may simply list contact information or present you with a contact form of some kind.

  • Repeat for your second Senator.

Finding Your Representative

You can find contact information for your Representative with the following steps: 

Letter Writing

Of course, petitioning is only one way to help. Contacting legislators to make your voice heard is critical to ensuring that our laws protect the welfare of parrots. This can take the form of phone calls, personal visits, and the time-honored tradition of letter writing campaigns. Though they may be submitted electronically these days, a well-written letter encouraging adoption of a new law or discouraging harmful amendments to existing statutes makes certain that your legislator is familiar with what their constituents want and need.Letters to elected officials share many points with petitions. They need a brief overview of the issue at hand, evidence to support your viewpoint, and a clear call to action.

It is also worth noting that simply copying and pasting the contents of someone else’s letter is not sufficient when making a complaint or request to government officials. Identical letters are disregarded when considering how many people are concerned about a certain issue.

While we encourage you to read through our example letters and use them for inspiration, any letter sent to your local Senator or Representative must vary from these examples in order to be taken seriously.

Here is an example of a letter written to discourage passing Senate Bill 1614, “Amendments to the Lacey Act 2023”:

 

Dear Senator:

I am lover of parrots and support Legislative Rights for Parrot’s work in promoting parrot welfare. We support birds and partner with others who are doing good for the sake of parrots. Senate Bill 1614, sponsored by Senator Rubio (FL), has been presented to the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works. S. 1614 proposes the same changes to the Lacey Act (16 USC 3371 – 3378) that Senator Rubio previously attempted to attach to the America Competes Act.  S. 1614 protects only the rights of domesticated pets, defined as dogs and cats, and traditional farm animals.

This expansion of the Lacey Act states that birds will not be able to travel across state lines and could deny ownership all together.  This would create a major impact on bird owners, rescues, sanctuaries, military veterans, businesses, and others. There are many ways the changes in S. 21614 could cause serious harm to birds:

1.     Individuals and rescues won’t be able to take in birds from outside their state, whether from a person in need of help or transfer from another rescue.

2.     Owners’ wills designating where the parrot(s) should go after death would be denied if the bird(s) would have to cross state lines to reach their new homes.

3.     Military personnel will be highly impacted due to moving from base to base and likely required to relinquish their parrot.  It is important to know that parrots have been used as emotional support animals for military personnel, so relinquishment could have serious emotional impacts.

4.     A limited number of veterinarians are avian specialists; therefore, it is not uncommon for owners, rescues, and sanctuaries to travel across state lines to get appropriate care for a parrot.  Moreover, certain emergency or specialized surgeries are performed by only one or two avian veterinarians in the country.

5.     In cases of natural disaster such as fire, flooding, tornadoes, hurricanes, etc. in which individuals are told to evacuate their homes, they may have to cross state lines to reach safety and shelter.  Since the Lacey Act allows no exception, these individuals will be required to leave their animal behind to die or face criminal charges for illegal transport.

6.     It is common for rescues and sanctuaries to hold fundraisers to provide for birds in care or for medical procedural needs for the wellbeing of the parrot.  Such events taking place at bird fairs, educational presentations, school functions, etc. may require the birds to cross state lines.  These travel restrictions would thus greatly reduce opportunities for such fundraising.

7.     Allowing this expansion of the Lacey Act could shut down an entire pet industry that revolves not only around parrots, but other exotic pets such as sugar gliders, hamsters, ferrets, turtles, and potbellied pigs.

8.     The expansion of the Lacey Act could lead to unscientific, prejudicial placement of animals, including some parrots, on a ban list that restricts ownership.  This type of banning already occurs elsewhere.  Quaker (monk) parakeets have been banned or restricted in ownership based on a lie regarding the destruction of crops in Argentina, which has long ago been debunked.

We ask you to stand up for these endangered companion pets, owners, rescues, sanctuaries, and the parrot business community.  Senator, I, along with Legislative Right for Parrots, implore you to vote nay on this bill. 

Legislative Rights for Parrots is a non-partisan 501(c)(3) organization. We will not support any party or politician that harms parrots.  Legislative Right for Parrots is registered in Nevada but works in numerous states, Canada, the United Kingdom, and Spain to support the welfare of both pet and wild parrots.

Thank you,

 

 

Addressing the correct person or group is just as important when writing letters as it is when sending petitions. For example, there are two identical bills currently proposed to amend the Lacey Act, one in the Senate and one in the House of Representatives. To protest the latter, you would need to locate contact information for your local Representatives and make the following changes so that your letter references House Rule 4922 instead of its companion in the Senate:

Dear Representative:

I am lover of parrots and support Legislative Rights for Parrot’s work in promoting parrot welfare. We support birds and partner with others who are doing good for the sake of parrots. On July 26, 2023 Representative Anna Paulina Luna [R-FL-13] introduced House Rule 4922 “Lacey Act Amendments of 2023,” a companion bill to Rubio’s Senate Bill 1614.

H.R. 4922 has five cosponsors: Rep. Bilirakis, Gus M. [R-FL-12], Rep. Donalds, Byron [R-FL-19], Rep. Nehls, Troy E. [R-TX-22], Rep. Carl, Jerry L. [R-AL-1], Rep. Dunn, Neal P. [R-FL-2]. This bill proposes the same changes to the Lacey Act (16 USC 3371 – 3378) that Senator Rubio previously attempted to attach to the America Competes Act.  H.R. 4922 protects only the rights of domesticated pets, defined as dogs and cats, and traditional farm animals.

This expansion of the Lacey Act states that birds will not be able to travel across state lines and could deny ownership all together.  This would create a major impact on bird owners, rescues, sanctuaries, military veterans, businesses, and others. There are many ways the changes in H.R. 4922 could cause serious harm to birds:

1.     Individuals and rescues won’t be able to take in birds from outside their state, whether from a person in need of help or transfer from another rescue.

2.     Owners’ wills designating where the parrot(s) should go after death would be denied if the bird(s) would have to cross state lines to reach their new homes.

3.     Military personnel will be highly impacted due to moving from base to base and likely required to relinquish their parrot.  It is important to know that parrots have been used as emotional support animals for military personnel, so relinquishment could have serious emotional impacts.

4.     A limited number of veterinarians are avian specialists; therefore, it is not uncommon for owners, rescues, and sanctuaries to travel across state lines to get appropriate care for a parrot.  Moreover, certain emergency or specialized surgeries are performed by only one or two avian veterinarians in the country.

5.     In cases of natural disaster such as fire, flooding, tornadoes, hurricanes, etc. in which individuals are told to evacuate their homes, they may have to cross state lines to reach safety and shelter.  Since the Lacey Act allows no exception, these individuals will be required to leave their animal behind to die or face criminal charges for illegal transport.

6.     It is common for rescues and sanctuaries to hold fundraisers to provide for birds in care or for medical procedural needs for the wellbeing of the parrot.  Such events taking place at bird fairs, educational presentations, school functions, etc. may require the birds to cross state lines.  These travel restrictions would thus greatly reduce opportunities for such fundraising.

7.     Allowing this expansion of the Lacey Act could shut down an entire pet industry that revolves not only around parrots, but other exotic pets such as sugar gliders, hamsters, ferrets, turtles, and potbellied pigs.

8.     The expansion of the Lacey Act could lead to unscientific, prejudicial placement of animals, including some parrots, on a ban list that restricts ownership.  This type of banning already occurs elsewhere.  Quaker (monk) parakeets have been banned or restricted in ownership based on a lie regarding the destruction of crops in Argentina, which has long ago been debunked.

We ask you to stand up for these endangered companion pets, owners, rescues, sanctuaries, and the parrot business community.  Senator, I, along with Legislative Right for Parrots, implore you to vote nay on this bill. 

Legislative Rights for Parrots is a non-partisan 501(c)(3) organization. We will not support any party or politician that harms parrots.  Legislative Right for Parrots is registered in Nevada but works in numerous states, Canada, the United Kingdom, and Spain to support the welfare of both pet and wild parrots.

Thank you,

 

Letter-writing campaigns can be extremely effective, especially when coordinated to show that many citizens share the same concerns. Legislative Rights for Parrots strives to keep all parrot owners and other interested parties up to date on the laws that affect parrot welfare via our education programs, social media, and rescue partnerships, but the best way to get involved is by joining us as a Volunteer. This way, we can present a united front and make it clear to our representatives that we support sensible, well-considered laws and regulations that promote the wellbeing of parrots, parrot owners, rescues, and ethical parrot breeders and pet dealers.

Contact Us

Have a question or comment about Legislative Rights for Parrots or our website? Drop us a message.

Follow Us

Want to keep up with the latest news? Follow us on Facebook.

Chat with us

Join us on Discord to discuss current events affecting parrot caretakers and network with fellow parrot enthusiasts.