Friday, September 04, 2009

AFA Legislative Alert

Please feel free to cross-post the following information:

Common Birds in Aviculture to be Placed Under Endangered Species Act?

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) is considering the possible listing of up to 14 additional parrots as "Endangered" under the U.S. Endangered Species Act (ESA).

If adopted, the proposal would list the following species as "Endangered" under the ESA: umbrella cockatoos, moluccan cockatoos, lesser sulphur-crested cockatoos, red-vented cockatoos, blue-headed macaws, blue-throated macaws, buffon's macaws, hyacinth macaws, scarlet macaws, military macaws, shining parrots, grey-cheeked parakeets, yellow billed amazon parrots and green-cheeked amazon parrots.

Many of these species are being successfully bred in large numbers by U.S. aviculturists and are owned by many thousands of U.S. citizens as pets.

Once listed, a species could not be sold across state lines without the appropriate federal permit, a permit that does not recognize "pet purposes" as a valid permitting basis.

AFA believes that this proposal is not supported by reliable scientific or commercial data, will discourage captive breeding of these species in the U.S. and will have a detrimental effect on U.S. interstate commerce, without any corresponding benefit to the species purported to be protected. Since none of these species has been imported into the United States since the Wild Bird Conservation Act (1992) went into effect, AFA sees no material scientific or commercial justification for the uplisting, but does see a huge detriment to aviculture and to the future of these species themselves in the U.S.

The USFWS has initiated a call for information on scientific and commercial data with regard to whether these species should be proposed for Endangered status, with comments due by September 14, 2009. They are not looking for general public comment on uplisting at this time, but are looking for input on whether there is a scientific and/or commercial basis for these species to be proposed for uplisting. If the FWS actually proposes these species for uplisting, that proposal should be open to general public comment. AFA will advise all of its members if this occurs.

AFA is developing a position paper on the scientific and commercial aspects of this call for information and will submit it by the deadline.

People concerned about the scientific and commercial pros and cons of this proposal may make their thoughts known to FWS by September 14, 2009.

Contact information for the Service and this important proposal can be found at or by contacting the AFA Business Office at

You can make a formal comment to FWS online by September 14, 2009 at:

Or you can mail your comments to:
Public Comments Processing
Attn: FWS-R9-IA-2009-0016
Division of Policy and Directives Management, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
4401 N. Fairfax Drive, Suite 222
Arlington, VA 22203

In either case, refer to FWS-R9-IA-2009-0016.

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