I agree with much that Belinda Johnstone said regarding the keeping of
native birds, particularly the need to concentrate on the real
conservation issues faced by our birds. However, I'm not sure that many
people are blaming aviculturalists for the decline of our birds. Sure, a
minority of people out there are anti bird keeping, possibly the same
people that are anti bird banding. You are always going to have people at
both ends of the spectrum of an argument (those are often the noisiest).
I would like to make two points.
The first is that the current laws pertaining to the keeping of protected
Australian birds in NSW are archaic - you can keep up to 19 birds without
a licence - and, in my view, need overhauling.
The second is that while it is tempting to suggest that trapping of birds
is localised this may not necessarily be the case. An example that I am
aware of relates to Superb Parrots. Belinda makes the point that many
birds are easy to breed and this has caused prices to fall. A very valid
point. However, records of the number of juvenile Superb Parrots being
sold by traders in NSW each year are far in excess of the numbers that
could be produced by the number of pairs being kept by breeders. The
supporting paperwork kept by some breeders suggests that they are pulling
clutches and hand raising chicks. The problem with this argument is that
the number of young involved would soon result in run-down breeding birds,
something a reputable breeder would not encourage. Where are the excess
birds coming from?
I don't have a hard fixed view on this subject, I haven't really had
reason to look at the proposed changes. These are only proposed changes
at this stage, there will be a period of public consultation during which
people will get a chance to put their case forward.
>From my point of view the current laws need overhauling and this will
stimulate discussion between the interest groups.
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