January 3, 2007
Mayor proclaims January 5th "National Bird Day"
St. Louis, MO - St. Louis mayor Francis Slay has issued a
proclamation identifying January 5th as "National Bird Day",
encouraging St. Louis residents and citizens nationwide to conserve and
protect the world's birds from cruelty and extinction.
National Bird Day aims to educate consumers about the difficult reality
of caring for birds as pets, the abuse of birds in the retail pet
industry and wild bird trade, and the importance of protecting birds in
the wild. National Bird Day is sponsored by the Animal Protection
Institute (API), a national non-profit animal advocacy group, with the
support of the Avian Welfare Coalition (AWC).
New York, NY, Madison, WI, Port St. Lucie, FL, Sedona, AZ and Hawaii
County, HI, have joined St. Louis by signing similar proclamations. In
cities from Los Angeles, CA to Woodbury, NJ bird lovers are hosting
fundraisers and art shows celebrating the beauty and wonder of birds.
Free "Think Outside the Cage" posters and videos are available at
www.nationalbirdday.org and an exotic bird care handbook, published by
API, AWC and the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to
Animals, has been distributed to shelters and rescue groups nationwide.
"We are very excited about the growing number of people signing on to
celebrate the beauty of birds with us," says Monica Engebretson,
Program Director at the Animal Protection Institute. "We may
appreciate the birds flying free outside our windows, but we need to
examine how we treat birds in general."
"Consumers must realize that exotic birds are not domestic animals.
To confine them is to deprive them of the inherent behaviors that make
them birds," says Denise Kelly, President of the Avian Welfare
In the next century, nearly 12 percent of the world's 9,800 bird
species may face extinction, including nearly one-third of the
world's 330 parrot species. For many of these species, the leading
causes of population decline are habitat loss and collection for the
Every year, millions of birds are captured from the wild or produced in
captivity, only to lead miserable lives languishing in conditions that
fail to meet their instinctive behavioral and physical needs. In
addition exotic bird sanctuaries across the U.S. are overwhelmed with
unwanted and abused captive birds in need of rescue and life-long care.
"While we have enacted laws to protect birds such as blue jays,
cardinals and crows from commercial exploitation, we fail to recognize
the inconsistency in allowing the pet industry to exploit the birds of
other countries," adds Engebretson.
The Animal Protection Institute is a national non-profit animal
advocacy organization working to end animal cruelty and exploitation
through legislation, litigation, and public education. More information
is available at www.api4animals.org.
The Avian Welfare Coalition is a working alliance of veterinarians,
conservationists, avian welfare and animal protection organizations
dedicated to the ethical treatment of exotic birds. For more
information about the AWC please visit www.avianwelfare.org.
Press-quality images of "Think Outside the Cage" poster artwork is
available upon request; email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Contact: Zibby Wilder, Animal Protection Institute (API), 916.447.3085