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Dear Parrots magazine,

Is legislation required?

I read with great interest Pauline Sellwood’s article in the May issue of this magazine about buying parrots when she asked the question focusing on whether there should be legislation for the sellers of exotic animals. I say exotic animals, but if there was such legislation, it should apply to all animals including, dogs cats and small furries etc. It grieves me greatly when I see in a pet store small children pressing their parents to buy a little cute furry animal.

As the child jumps up and down while the sales assistant puts it in a cardboard carrier, mum and dad have to make the decision about how this new pet is going to be kept. All animals, exotic or domestic require a lot of dedication and knowledge if they are to be kept properly with all their needs being satisfied. Sadly, this often isn’t the case and I have seen examples when children lose interest as the novelty wears off and reality (cleaning and feeding) come into play.

Unfortunately, this is a fact of life and I don’t see much changing as it is virtually impossible to check every pet that is sold. But in the case of parrots, it can be a totally different situation because of the longevity and the fact that they need special attention, and unless new owners can be found when the original owner can no longer care for them, many birds may well lead a very dreary and sad existence for many years.

I do think Pauline Sellwood’s comment needs to be taken seriously and, although there is legislation to provide protection for all animals in our care, it will never be perfect. Perhaps there should be specific requirements for anyone selling animals to have some sort of certification to confirm their suitability to give advice to new owners.

Pippa Glass, by email




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