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Dear Parrots magazine,

Lack of knowledge

It was only a few weeks ago when I went into a garden centre to buy some compost that, as a parrot owner, I was attracted to a conversation that was taking place between a young shop advisor and a couple. This was all about a Senegal parrot that was up for sale and the couple were asking questions about it. What horrified me was that this young advisor was giving out a lot of misinformation about how this Senegal should be looked after, what food it should be given and what type of cage it should be kept in. This young chap didn’t have a clue as to what he was talking about and only seemed to have been wanting to make a name for himself.

I know I shouldn’t have, but did interject as the information given to this prospective buyer was completely wrong and I could not let it go unchallenged, but to my surprise this young man, which I thought would turn on me and tell me to mind my own business, didn’t at all, but did listen to what I had to say and seem to be grateful that he probably learnt something.

This, of course, was nothing to do with me, but between the young advisor and the prospective customer, who both seemed to be receptive to my advice, I left them and just hoped that all would work out well.

What worries me is that I wonder how many shop employees give out the wrong advice to prospective customers who are keen to buy a parrot, which will start off a relationship on the wrong foot and bearing in mind the longevity of these birds, it is so important that they get the best start in life. And should anyone selling or giving advice in a commercial situation, be subject to some kind of competency qualification?

Maureen Studley, by email




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