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For Immediate Release: 12/05/07

Celebrate National Bird Day on January 5, 2008

Bird enthusiasts unite in protest of U.S. pet trade’s exploitation of international native bird populations

Sacramento, CA — On January 5, 2008, The Animal Protection Institute (API), in conjunction with the Avian Welfare Coalition (AWC), will celebrate the sixth annual “National Bird Day” (NBD). NBD aims to educate the public about the difficult reality of caring for birds as pets, the damage the U.S. pet industry inflicts on wild bird populations, and the importance of keeping birds wild.

At www.nationalbirdday.com celebrants can order free “Think Outside the Cage” posters, locate local NBD art shows and purchase NBD t-shirts, including an exclusive design by cartoonist Dan Piraro, whose comic strip “Bizarro” runs in more than 200 papers every week.

“National Bird Day is a great day to take time to appreciate the wild birds flying free outside our windows. It is also a perfect time to reflect on our treatment of the native birds of other countries — exploited as nothing more than inanimate ‘products’ by the U.S. pet industry,” says Monica Engebretson, Project Director for API. “While we have enacted laws to protect native 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.“

“People who can responsibly make a bird part of their lives should adopt one from a rescue, not from a store that views these highly intelligent animals as nothing more than a sale. The retail pet industry does not subsist on love — it subsists on money,” adds Engebretson.

“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, AWC President.

API, a national nonprofit animal advocacy organization, works to end animal cruelty and exploitation through legislation, litigation and public education. For more information, visit www.api4animals.org.

AWC 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 are available upon request.

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Contact:
Zibby Wilder, Animal Protection Institute (API), 916.447.3085 x205

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