Birds can’t fly in Australia – media release 25 May 2015
For immediate release
Melbourne, 25 May 2015
Birds can’t fly in Australia: Welfare laws branded an ‘embarrassment’
While an Indian court ruled this week that birds cannot be kept in cages, Australian birds continue to be subjected to a miserable life, says bird behaviourist Paris Yves.
Terrified parrots crammed into tiny, dirty boxes: This was the sight that greeted Melbourne-based bird behaviourist and campaigner Paris Yves at the 2014 Mornington Peninsula Avicultural Society Bird Sale & Expo in Victoria. She fears a similar scenario at the upcoming live bird sales at Skye on Sunday 31 May 2015.
Yves, who rescues birds, is calling for the federal government to ban the sale of birds and review the paltry welfare laws for captive caged birds, which she says are an “embarrassment” to Australia, particularly in light of a ground-breaking ruling by Delhi High Court this week.
Chief Justice Manmohan Singh of the Andhra Pradesh High Court India recognised that birds have the “fundamental right to live in dignity” outside of cages and condemned bird trading.
In stark contrast, companion bird welfare is ignored in Australia. “Companion birds are forced by owners, pet shops and bird breeding mills and breeder bird sales to live their lives in small cages and not fly,” says Yves. “There are no laws to protect birds here, only codes of conduct that are authorised by the state governments to be drafted by the same bird breeders and bird associations who have been guilty of bird abuse and neglect for at least 30 years.”
According to Yves, the constant breeding and captivity results in huge psychological and physiological trauma to birds. “I could easily rescue thousands of birds every day. There is an oversupply and most of these poor birds are sold or traded to inexperienced bird carers who perceive them as a ‘pretty object.’ Most other birds are stolen as eggs from their mothers and incubated in bedrooms throughout Australia,” says Yves.
Yves is calling for all Australian states to:
• ban bird sales and bird breeding
• ban the import and sale of cages that do not allow birds to fly freely
• introduce mandatory bird behaviour and welfare laws.
“The bird breeders and bird sellers have taken advantage of the fact that no authority is monitoring or enforcing laws to protect how birds are handled and cared for. We need to follow India’s lead in recognising that these intelligent beings deserve protection,” says Yves.
About Paris Yves
Paris Yves has cared for birds all her life. She continues to study bird behaviour and regularly liaises with world-renowned animal behaviourists to ensure she is on top of bird behaviour research and findings. An experienced media commentator, Yves has become the voice of welfare and legal rights for companion birds in Australia.