Written in May of 2010
Recently, we’ve been questioned, even taken to task, regarding our stance on those who breed birds. The Gabriel Foundation understands that there are many ways to advocate for animal welfare. One of our primary goals is to help educate those who want to share their lives with parrots—no matter who they are.
Every person that visits our Aviary and Adoption Center or comes in to our Denver location to learn more about who we are and what we do is told that each of our birds, whether relinquished or rescued, was once somebody’s baby bird. We make it clear that buying a baby bird from a breeder does not guarantee success in the parrot/human relationship, and that many individuals—most of us involved with TGF, in fact—have established wonderful, loving, forever relationships with birds who were adults when we met them.
However, we are realists. In this country, people have options when it comes to choosing a companion animal. As long as people purchase birds from breeders, we must encourage those breeders to be responsible for the animals that they breed. This means that they should take the time and means to insure that the prospective caregiver is aware and understands the responsibility implicit in such a potentially long-lived relationship. To exclude any avicultural group from the conversation and thus exclude them from accountability is counterproductive. We ask of bird breeders what we ask of everyone–including vets and adopters and retailers and you, our supporters—and that is to be responsible. We do this not to guard the economic well-being of the breeders, but to provide for the health and well-being of the birds that are the foundation of our existence.
At The Gabriel Foundation, we see successes and failures in parrot/human relationships everyday. We offer education and resources to try to prevent the failures whenever we can. We do not turn away anyone who wants information about how to provide better lives for birds. Our advocacy of parrot welfare is inherent in who we are and what we do.
Julie Weiss Murad
CEO & President