Re: Bird Licencing Review
Re: Bird Licencing Review
"Belinda Johnstone" <>
Fri, 07 Jun 2002 09:01:09 +1000
In relation to the proposed NSW bird licencing requirements...When are
people going to stop blaming aviculturists for the plight of many native
birds by increasing and further regulating with prohibitive laws, the
keeping of native birds as pets.
Sure, in the past trapping for the pet industry had an effect on bird
populations but as knowledge of captive breeding requirements of many
species increase, the more economical it is to breed native birds in
captivity than trying to trap them. For instance, Golden Shouldered Parrots
are now less than $300/pair...who in their right mind would travel 3000
kilometres to Cape York and spend countless hours trying to trap a pair of
parrots when they can walk into a pet shop in Sydney and buy them over the
counter? The same goes for Black Cockatoo species with prices starting from
as little as $1250 to buy one over the counter at a pet shop! Even the most
expensive Black Cockatoos - Glossy Black Cockatoos are available at pet
shops in Sydney.
The economic incentive to trap birds for domestic markets has virtually
gone...the biggest threat is smuggling for overseas markets. By further
regulating domestic laws on bird keeping it's not going to stop people
smuggling birds overseas.
The Western Australian Government has a pretty good approach...they've at
least reduced the impact of bird trapping for domestic bird keeping markets
on two species, the Naretha Blue Bonnet Parrot and the White Tailed Black
Cockatoo. By allowing aviculturists to breed these birds in captivity it
HAS reduced the incentive to trap birds from dwindling populations. As a
requirement of this program, the W.A. Govt. releases captive bred birds back
into the wild, further boosting threatened populations.
Aviculture and bird keeping is now at the point where conservation of
species through captive breeding is a major objective of many bird breeders.
The last thing aviculturists want to do is further reduce wild bird
populations and participate in trapping - there is just no reason to when it
is extremely easy to breed some of Australia's endangered bird species in
So before all the government boffins try to restrict the keeping of native
birds in captivity they have to ask themselves "What are we trying to
achieve?" Birds have been kept for centuries....with tight laws it's only
going to send people underground and participate in illegal activities
Yes, bird trapping for the pet and aviary bird industry is a real threat to
the conservation of many bird species that people find desirable to keep.
However, trapping and taking birds from the wild is now rare with mostly
localised incidents. Broadscale licencing, legislation and law enforcement
is not going to effectively control bird trapping activities....so why is
the NSW Government wasting its time plus tax payers money going down this
path anyway. Logic would tell you that it is more efficient and effective
trying to police the localised incidents of bird trapping and increasing
customs staff at airports than producing more restictive legislation.
Trapping for the pet bird industry on a domestic front, WAS a real threat to
bird conservation in the past....it's time for people to let go of the
notion that it is a major reason for birds being endangered today (trapping
has been illegal for over 16 years, yet species of parrots are still
becoming endangered without this threat), concentrate on more achievable
conservation strategies for endangered bird species (such as reducing
habitat destruction and unsustainable agricultural practices), let go of the
emotional stigma that "bird keeping/aviculture = trapping of endangered
birds" and realise the potential for the conservation of species through
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