Changing the Captive Bird Paradigm: The Suitability of Parrots As Pets

MONDAY, APRIL 10, 11:15AM-12:00PM

SPEAKER: Anthony A. Pilny, DVM DABVP (Avian), Veterinarian, The Center for Avian & Exotic Medicine

Pet birds represent the largest population of wild animals in captivity and, as a non-domesticated order, they retain all of their wild behaviours and characteristics. With shelters, rescues and sanctuaries at maximum capacity, it’s no wonder pet bird owners are surrendering these animals for many reasons as soon as intolerance develops toward keeping them as pets in our homes. This lecture evaluates the suitability of parrots/birds as pets by exploring the Schuppli and Fraser* approach and the Five Freedoms to show why birds don't belong in our homes and why they shouldn't be kept as pets. This lecture also explores the challenges, welfare and illegal trafficking of wild birds to provide some convincing evidence that affects the well-being of pet birds all over the world.

*Animal Welfare, 2000

Three Key Learnings:
1. Broader concepts of avian welfare
2. Discussion of principles of this article applied to pet birds: Animal Welfare 2000, 9: 359-372
3. The Five Freedoms, as applied to parrots/birds in captivity, the illegal pet trade and solutions and concepts of acceptable husbandry and care

Sponsored by: Zoocheck Canada and the Avian Welfare Coalition

Anthony Pilny, DVM DABVP (Avian), is a graduate of the University of Florida’s College of Veterinary Medicine. He completed an internal medicine and surgery internship at Florida Veterinary Specialists in Tampa and a residency in Avian and Exotic Pet Medicine and Surgery at The Animal Medical Center in New York City. He has been a diplomate of the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners, certified in Avian Practice, since 2005. Dr. Pilny is the current medical director at The Center for Avian & Exotic Medicine in New York City, has lectured nationally about avian and exotic pet medicine and has published numerous scientific articles and book chapters on birds and other exotic species. He also serves as an adjunct professor at LaGuardia Community College where he teaches avian and exotic pet medicine to prospective veterinary technicians. Dr. Pilny is a member of the Association of Avian Veterinarians, Association of Exotic Mammal Veterinarians, Association of Reptile and Amphibian Veterinarians and The American Veterinary Medical Association. Also, Dr. Pilny serves as the National Medical Director of the House Rabbit Society. He shares his home with fourteen pet birds, a cat and a snake.