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BIRDS IN CAGES!-The Campaign for Safer People, Wildlife and Birds

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 

The Campaign for Safer People, Wildlife and Birds


Colorful plumage and grace in flight have made bird watching a favorite American pastime. The US Fish & Wildlife Service crows: “over 52 million people participate in the watching and feeding of wild birds and spend over $25 billion annually on bird watching and feeding devices and supplies.†But within every bird are the genes of a prolific defecator, causing millions or perhaps even billions of dollars worth of damage each year. In addition, the feces of birds have been scientifically proven to spread a number of harmful, sometime deadly diseases throughout human populations and native wildlife.


Birds In Cages! is an initiative created by The Feline Resistance! to end the unnecessary suffering of humans and wildlife caused by free-flying birds. This campaign is designed to:

* Educate decision makers, and the general public about the damage caused by free-flying birds as well as the benefits for birds, people and other wildlife of keeping birds in cages. *Advocate policies and actions to protect wildlife from bird predation and disease. *Support the humane removal of free-flying birds, beginning with areas important to wildlife and humans.


A caged bird is a safe bird. In the United States, free-flying birds are subject to a variety of hazards, including land development; pesticides; pollution; communication towers; oil and gas extraction; logging and strip mining; stock tank drowning; commercial fishing; electrocution; native and non-native predators; invasive plants; and hunting.


Free-flying birds are also more likely to develop a variety of diseases, many of which can be transmitted to livestock and humans through contact with feces. Bird droppings anywhere should be considered hazardous waste. Birds and their droppings create unsanitary conditions and carry over sixty transmissible (some potentially fatal) diseases, including:

Bacterial: Paratyphoid, Vibriosis, Salmonellosis, Listeriosis and Pasteurellosis
Viral: Encephalitis, Meningitis, Newcastle Disease, St. Louis Encephalitis and West Nile Encephalitis
Mycotic: Histoplasmosis, Candidiasis, Sarcosporidiosias and Blastomycosis
Protozoal: Toxoplasmosis, Trichomoniasis and American Trypansomiasis

"Sick buildings†have traced the problems to birds. Contaminated dust is often brought into a building through air handling equipment. “When bird droppings and nesting materials accumulate they can pose a host of health risks. For instance, when bird dropping spores become airborne throughout an A/C or ventilation system, they create a "sick" building. Droppings and nesting materials around food areas, can easily spread bacterial viruses. Workers coming into contact with pigeon diseased bird droppings and nests can inhale bird dropping particles in the air, as well as assimilating them through any cuts or wounds. The parasites and vectors (fleas, ticks, etc.) that live on the birds and in their nests often ‘jump ship’ to other animals in the area and can infect them as well.†(source: Bell Environmental Studies and Bird Solutions International)

Property damage: Bird droppings are very acidic and can actually eat away at various substrates, causing leaks in roofs, damage to paint finishes on cars and other painted surfaces and corroding wiring and other machinery parts . (source: Bird Solutions International)

Bird crashes into airplanes have killed 155 people worldwide since 1990 (as of 2003) and each year, they cause nearly $500 million in damage. (source: The Bird Strike Committee USA)


Even if every native bird in the United States was brought indoors, the problem with non-native birds would persist. In an effort to keep birds within their own boundaries, we propose the Reciprocal Bird Extradition Treaty (RBET). RBET would be implemented through a cooperative coalition of member countries concerned about inter-species migration. Countries like Great Britain, with a long history of non-native bird solutions would be called upon for assistance. For example, in 1981 England passed the Wildlife and Countryside Act, which licensed the public to use semi-automatic weapons to kill nuisance crows; doves; gulls; jays; feral pigeons; house sparrows; and starlings in order to “prevent the spread of disease or serious damage to livestock, foodstuffs for livestock; crops; etc.†An extreme solution such as this is not reached easily and hopefully, will not be necessary if all member nations work together to extradite and rehabilitate wandering birds.


*Never abandon a bird. Take it to an animal shelter for a better chance of finding a home. *Do not feed stray birds without making a commitment to giving or finding it a home. *Spay and neuter all your birds before they can breed. Put name tags on your birds and comply with all licensing requirements. *If you notice a neighbor’s bird free-flying, politely offer educational information. If that does not work, you may need to call Animal Control to humanely trap and remove the offending avian and/or neighbor. *Remove all bird baths and feeders from your property- they are breeding grounds for disease and attract predators. Feeding birds is a hotly debated topic within the bird community. George Fenwick, president of the American Bird Conservancy (ABC) says “there are dangers associated with bird feeding, but the positives for people- getting them back to nature, into bird watching and conservation- outweigh the negatives.†You can order the copper Sawkill Bird Bath from the ABC online catalog for only $599.99!

It is wrong to blame birds for doing what comes naturally. It is the responsibility of humans to make sure that birds and wildlife are safe from disease and predation. Keep all birds in cages or in a safe environment. Encourage others to do the same.

An indoor bird does not have to feel deprived. Place the cage near a big window so it can see the sky and breathe fresh air. If you have large birds- especially raptors- you may need to construct an aviary in your backyard. It’s easy, but there are some precautions you need to take. First, do not let pets near the area. Even well fed birds may attack and devour small animals. Children should wear helmets to protect against potential unprovoked attacks. Bird diapers are a must to keep errant droppings from spreading disease to family members. .


Educate your legislators at county, state and federal levels. We plan to approach the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation; the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission; the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation; and the Pet Care Trust for donations matching those given to the American Bird Conservancy’s Cats Indoors! campaign.

Birds in Cages! is a fact-based parody of the American Bird Conservancy’s unscientific and disingenuous Cats Indoors! campaign.

Prepared by The Feline Resistance! staff May 3, 2004

post #2 of 4
At first I was ready to flame! How could they be serious! But I kept reading. Wait a sec... Reciprocal Bird Extradition Treaty?? Submachine guns to keep them under control??

Very thought provoking!
post #3 of 4
I like the idea of having Animal Control "humanely trapping and removing the offending neighbor". In addition, I formed a mental picture of hawks and eagles wearing diapers! Gosh, I'm easily amused!
post #4 of 4
Thread Starter 
The point is to counter some of the extreme methods that ABC uses in it's Cats Indoors campaign. Obviously..it would be rediculous to expect eagles to wear diapers..just as it is rediculous to expect "all" cats...including feral cats to be indoors.

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