Parrots and parakeets protected
With the introduction of this new law, trade in baby parrots and parakeets becomes a criminal offense. Jan Hooijmeijer of the Adviespraktijk voor Vogels, in Meppel, the Netherlands, calls the law a spectacular breakthrough for animal welfare. The Netherlands is the first country to pass legislation to regulate the separation of these birds from their parents. For other pet species, such as dogs and cats, there has long been a stipulation of the age until which the young animals must be left with their mother, because early separation can result in serious behavioural problems. ‘The intelligence of parrots is equivalent to that of a four-year-old child, and the larger species have a life expectancy of 80 to 90 years”, Hooijmeijer said on the radio programme Vroege Vogels. This makes it essential that the birds get a good start in life, with their own parents.