Legislation and Regulatory Issues for Aviculturists

OPA and Your Right To Keep Birds

The Organization of Professional Aviculturists, Inc. is the only avicultural Trade Organization in the United States.

Please see the Alerts below for updates and information on pending and new legislative issues. A Legislative Table is also available as a quick resource.

The Organization of Professional Aviculturists is a member of the Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council (PIJAC) and the National Avian Welfare Alliance (NAWA).

Legislative News

California AB 2862

On September 29, 2006, Governor Schwartzenegger vetoed AB 2862.

This bill went through numerous revisions, the final version gutted the bill entirely and would have required the Dept. of Consumer Affairs, rather than the Legislature, to adopt regulations for the care of animals sold at retail.

State of Washington — Pierce County

A proposed Bird Ordinance was drafted in reaction to a civil matter. The OPA opposes the Gelman Ordinance, and supports the Muri Ordinance which allows for self-determination and no licensing requirements.

Gelman Ordinance

Proposal No. 2006-81, An Ordinance of the Pierce County Council amending Section 5.04.020 and Chapter 5.24 of the Pierce County Code to add Commercial Aviaries to the types of animal-related facilities required to be licensed.

The OPA opposes the licensing requirement proposed by Councilmember Gelman.

Muri Ordinance

Proposal No. 2006-82, An Ordinance of the Pierce County Council, establishing an Avicultural Advisory Commission; and adopting a new Chapter 2.47, “Aviculture Advisory Commission,” to the Pierce County Code.

The OPA supports the formation of an Aviculture Advisory Commission if it is to consist of avicultural experts with hands-on experience in avicultural husbandry and management, and not of organizations or individuals who are engaged in animal rights causes, or so-called “avian rescue” organizations. The Commission must not have a bias against aviculture as a commercial or hobby activity.

Massachusetts — An act relative to the sale of unweaned birds.

This legislation has been in committee since October, 2005, and has now been sent to the floor of both Houses. Although SB 2195 is clearly focusing on imports of unweaned birds, and does not ban the sale of unweaned birds bred in the state, according to PIJAC, “it could be interpreted to grant the Department authority to regulate domestically bred birds as well.”

The legislation is somewhat ambiguous on this point. The language could be read to charge the Department with adopting regulations governing unweaned birds sold into the Commonwealth or transported into the Commonwealth. This interpretation would clearly be consistent with the rest of the bill. A more tortured, and less rational, interpretation would be that the Department could also regulate the sale of unweaned birds in the state. At the very least, both houses should insert a floor amendment making clear that the bill does NOT involve regulation of birds not imported into the state.

Because this bill has already passed a joint committee, it is imperative that any concerns be directed immediately to state legislators representing your district in both the House and Senate. It could be voted on at any time!