I had cause last night to use this letter from Dr. Michael Doolen, DVM. I was reawakened to the last section about euthanasia and parrots. With the terrible, out of control breeding situations we see today coupled with the more apparent "loss of integrity" of rescues and sanctuaries, I would call upon ALL avian practitioners to be outgoing and honest about the types and numbers of death situations they are involved in. We cannot keep sweeping this under the rug. Breeders and stores need to be hit between the eyes with the true figures of how many of these birds are being "put down" and some of the most common "whys".
We need all the ammunition out there to convince these people trying to make a living by breeding and selling parrots, especially large ones with the longest lives, that they would be better off with real jobs!
Rescues and sanctuaries are not only busting at the seams, some of the people running them are too. Rescues are, in too many cases, turning into hoarding situations at an alarming rate. People get over their heads too rapidly and it is happening at an almost exponential rate. It starts as a desire to help and so easily gets out of control. Even well planned and established organizations are staking their future on a "paper plan". It is a scary scenario for someone having to give up an animal that may live another 40 years!
Avian vets, please. You know the problems and the delicacy involved in making that information public. Individual cases are not the important metric. We need a few good people to step up and address this situation that all of us know exists, but have no hard figures to throw at people that are magnifying your problem.
Parrots are rapidly becoming "dogs and cats" with one very sad exception. Dogs and cats may live 10-15 years, parrots can live 30-70 years! Parrots are every bit as intelligent and feeling! There are many of us that can help spread the message if we have some objective data to point to.
If you are not a vet, talk to yours about this subject. If we all love parrots and cockatoos, we will be willing to take this small step and start a campaign. Print this post and letter and ask them to read it! You may only gets stories and anecdotal replies but we can discuss these as well. Parrots and cockatoos need help now. We cannot sit here and do nothing.
Here is Dr. Doolen's letter. The "euthanasia scenario" is at the end.http://mytoos.com/vetletter.shtml