Animal Advocacy Keeping exotics as companion animals



Four cockatiels, three Amazons and three large macaws (all of which are parrots) number among the members of my household. I purchased Frisco, the oldest cockatiel, from a five and dime 25+ years ago, because I couldn't bear to leave him in the tiny, filthy cage he was in. All of the others, except Amelia, a red lored Amazon, are adopted from an avian rescue. Amelia came to me through private means, after her long time mate died and the breeder who owned her had no further use for her.

The longer I live with these highly intelligent, emotionally complex, animals, the more it is driven into me the extent ot which we limit and stunt their lives by keeping them as pets.

I would like to see the keeping of exotics of any species cease entirely - let us take care of those for whom we are currently responsible, and let that be the end of it.
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What a lot of people don't realize is that most exotics (birds being just one example) aren't even covered by the very minimal animal welfare laws in place for cats and dogs, even though their needs are often much more specific and they suffer intensely from not having them met.

There are constantly cases in which parrots are being kept in crowded, filthy, conditions with inadequate food, water, and temperatures, and there is no willingness or authority to seize them. Basically, in most jurisdictions, you can legally do to parrots what you can legally do to chickens, and we all know what that entails.


I love rabbits.
Jun 1, 2012
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Rabbitville, USA
I agree.

The rabbits that share my home are considered exotics. When I adopted the first two, I thought they would be a cute low-maintenance pet but I soon learned that they are intelligent individuals. (And not low maintenance at all!)

Sadly, rabbits are considered a food animal by many people, and are officially classified as Poultry. They are not protected by most animal-cruelty laws that apply to dogs/cats.