Bee Gee, a blue and gold macaw kept at Connaughton's of Tuam in Galway, Ireland for "display" purposes, has lived in a small, dirty cage with one dowel perch and no enrichment for OVER TWENTY YEARS. He is fed an all-seed diet, which is inappropriate and unhealthy, and his water is perpetually dirty. His beak is overgrown, "scissored", and in serious need of medical attention. He likely struggles to eat properly and is almost certainly malnourished due to an improper diet. Dowel perches are known to cause discomfort and foot issues; a single dowel with no other perches available for a lifetime is inhumane. He cannot receive physical exercise or appropriate mental stimulation from within the confines of this cage. He is left in the dark on Sundays when the store is closed. If businesses shut down in Ireland in response to COVID-19 as they have elsewhere, Bee Gee may be alone in the dark for weeks.
Parrots are highly intelligent and confining one to a cage, especially one which forbids flight and contains no toys or enrichment, for DECADES is equivalent to locking a dog in a crate its entire life. Macaws can live for 50-60 years and beyond if cared for properly, but Bee Gee's life will be cut short by malnutrition, heart/liver issues due to the inability to exercise coupled with a seed diet, and stress. Keeping a bird in the conditions Bee Gee is currently subjected to is completely outdated and unethical.
Bee Gee is kept on display at the hardware/gardening store because he is "good for business". Certain patrons have been very generous with the shop owners in offering education and even purchasing Bee Gee supplies. However, the shop owners refuse to make any efforts to improve his care. They have been known to boast that he has lived for twenty years in his current situation despite being informed that changes must be made to meet modern and cilivised standards for avian health and well-being. Believe me when I say every bit of patience and understanding has been extended to the owners. The SPCA and a slew of bird-lovers have offered to take Bee Gee on, but the owners refuse to surrender, sell, or otherwise rehome him.
The Galway SPCA wants to get him out of there as badly as we do. They have advised us to get as many people to send complaints to them as possible. They forward these complaints to the Department of Agriculture, which DOES have the power to rescue Bee Gee if enough people complain. Let's put pressure on the Department of Agriculture and Connaughton's of Tuam; their desire to keep an exotic parrot as a bit of interior decoration is not more important than such an intelligent animal receiving proper care and enrichment!
E-MAIL OFFICIAL COMPLAINTS TO: GALWAYSPCA@GMAIL.COM.