Tell USDA: No More Delays. Implement care standards for birds.
The Animal Welfare Act (AWA) currently provides regulatory guidelines – overseen by USDA’s APHIS – for animals used in research, exhibition and commercial endeavors, but birds have long been excluded from this protection. This intentional oversight means that exotic bird breeding and housing remain largely unregulated across the U.S.
In 2002, an amendment to the law finally gained birds not bred for research protection under the AWA. The USDA was supposed to draft standards that apply to birds not bred for use in research "in a reasonable time." Well, that didn't happen. Over 20 years later, USDA is now subject to a court order to complete rule-making to protect birds nationwide, as currently required by the Animal Welfare Act (AWA), after a successful lawsuit forced their hand.
But now, we are in “rule-making” limbo. The USDA has another untimely window in which their inaction can result in the suffering of an uncountable number of captive birds, risk the spread of infectious diseases, as well as threaten avian conservation.
Tell the USDA: No more delays. Implement comprehensive care standards for birds that address their unique physical and behavioral needs.