The Sustainability of Keeping Birds as Pets: Should Any Be Kept?
Taipei Zoo, No.30, Sec.2, Xinguang Road, Taipei 116, Taiwan
Department of Veterinary Medicine and St Catharine’s College, University of Cambridge, Madingley Road, Cambridge CB3 0ES, UK
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Jukka Jokimäk
Received: 6 December 2020
Revised: 17 February 2021
Accepted: 18 February 2021
Published: 23 February 2021
The trade in birds for pet trade is harming wild bird populations and bird welfare. Inadequate housing of many pet birds results in stereotypies and other indicators of poor welfare in the birds that are currently widespread. Some pet birds were taken from the wild or bred in poor conditions, while others had nutritional, health, and behavioral problems resulting from inadequate living conditions and incorrect husbandry by the bird owners. As a consequence, it is not ethically right to keep the majority of the birds that are at present kept as pets. If birds are to be continued as a companion animal for people, then more effort should be made by pet shop owners and veterinarians to supply literature to prospective owners highlighting not only the proper care for the species of bird but also its needs and requirements, so that bird owners can do their utmost to meet them. Owners do not comply with laws requiring duty of care, unless they obtain and act on such information and also have knowledge of how to provide good nutrition and minimize the risk of disease. New laws are needed to prohibit taking birds from the wild and keeping birds in conditions that do not meet their needs.