Department of Environmental Affairs
Private Bag X447
Pretoria - 0001
Tel: 27 12 310 3017
Fax: 27 12 310 3541
730 wild-caught African grey parrots died on a commercial flight between Johannesburg and Durban in South Africa on Christmas Eve. The African Grey Parrot is listed with the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora appendix II, which restricts trade of wild caught species.
The initial shock of losing their freedom and being confined to a cage can kill 10 to 20 percent of wild-caught birds. Of those who survive capture, many will die of starvation, dehydration, suffocation or disease before reaching their final destination. Those who survive are doomed to a life deprived of flight and freedom.
South Africa has become an important hub for the international trade in wild-caught birds. Traders are making huge profits and taking advantage of government officials in unstable countries such as the DRC. Parrots caught in the wild and imported to South Africa (and subsequently exported to other countries) are frequently used as breeders in bird mills; some are exported from South Africa to the Far and Middle East as "pets". We urge the South African government to immediately halt all future DRC exports of wild-caught African grey parrots and then look at ways of ending all South African trade of wild-caught birds and animals.
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