What's Happening With Quakers
In Other States
Pet Quakers Are Being Confiscated in NH
This is the story of a Nashua NH woman, Suzanne
Burke. Suzanne is a member of Birds Of A Feather Bird Club in NH. She has written this letter to her legislator about the issue.
It is Unbelievable that the law changed in 1998 and no one was aware or enforcing it until now and threatening with confiscation. Pet Stores in NH have been selling quakers all along and many NH residents have owned quakers
as pets for many years.
My name is Suzanne Burke. I live in Nashua NH and belong to my local bird club, the BOAF. I both own and hobby breed Quaker Parrots (Monk Parakeets). I was very recently made aware that new F & G law was put into effect in 1998 banning the ownership and sale of these small parrots within the state (fis 803.04 b.3). I had been in contact with the State Veterinarian Stephen Crawford, who directed me to Lt. Bryant at Fish & Game. I called Lt. Bryant a few weeks ago, and identified myself as a Quaker parrot owner interested in clarifying what I had heard "through the grapevine" about Quakers being illegal. He informed me that they were indeed made illegal to own/possess and that I should make an effort to remove them from my residence ASAP. I put the issue on the back burner so to speak until yesterday when, at 9:30a.m., Geoff Pushee from Fish & Game showed up at my door and told my husband I had 30 days to remove the birds from my home or have them seized. I called Geoff the next day, this morning, and tried to clarify what was said since I was not there. He told me I had 30 days to remove them or they would be seized. When I asked for clarification of what the disposition of these birds would be if they were still here in 30 days, he told me they would seized. When I asked what that entailed he told me they would be given to a zoo. I told him this would not happen as Quaker Parrots are as common as pigeons. His alternative was they would be given to a pet shop. I again told him this was unlikely as these birds are not tame. I then asked him if "seizure" meant a death sentence/euthanasia and he said that was not out of the question. I asked that since he showed up at my door, a private home, if this meant he was now going to go door to door seizing peoples pets. He told me his directive was to find and remove these birds from the State. When I asked him why no one knew of this law, and why it was passed four years ago without being enforced but now required weekend visits to private homes, he had no answer.
I have both called and emailed many people including pet shop owners, pet owners, fellow breeders, veterinarians and such and NO ONE knew about this law/change, and we are all now basically all in violation of the law. My bird club, the BOAF, had no idea this had happened, nor did any pet shops, veterinarians and certainly not pet owners like myself. This whole issue is outrageous - there are no "real" reasons to have these birds banned, there have never been any complaints about them, they have not become feral in the state, they are not a public health risk - it is just the mere thought they they MAY become an issue as they are feral in certain other states, CT for instance. They are, in this state, loving pets to probably thousands of people, and probably close to the top of the list as far as popularity of small pet parrots go. They are now all at risk of being seized ands destroyed. This situation is not acceptable to myself or any one else in my bird club, not to mention the pet owners who are oblivious to it.
What the people in my bird club are trying to do is figure out how this law passed, who introduced it, and how to see about repealing it. It is also worth noting that it went four years without being enforced and there is no type of grandfather clause in it. Why now, all of a sudden four years later, it requires weekend visits to private residences without provocation or complaints. There is absolutely no proof these birds are a risk in this state, that there were ever complaints against this type of bird in this state, or why the law should have been changed, it is quite simply fear mongering. We are asking for your help in answering these questions, and I am asking you as a resident of NH to put a "stay of execution" in place for my beloved birds who risk death in 29 days. Please help me try and figure out what I can do as a private citizen to change this ridiculous law back to it's former self. I ask for an extension on my allotted 30 days in order to try and figure out the answers to our questions so that I do not have to sell/give away my animals and that others may not live in fear of having theirs taken away. My hope is that this law can be repealed and I will be able to keep my pets, most of which I raised from birth.
Thank you for your time,
Quaker Parrots Dying in Yacolt WA
February 12, 2008
Last night, the death squad from Clark PUD rolled into the town
of Yacolt accompanied by a police escort. They were on a
mission--a mission to kill the wild parrots that call Yacolt,
Washington their home.
This was not just another routine nest removal. Due to on-going
nest removals, the birds inside the nest were too cold and weak
to defend themselves. As the nest was ripped away by Clark PUD
linesmen, one Monk Parakeet, who could not withstand another
minute of exposure to the harsh winter weather, collapsed on the
ground and died.
Let's take a minute and say a prayer for this poor soul whose
life was lost because of Clark PUD and the Mayor and Council of
His death will not be in vain. He is the "canary in a coal mine"
- a sure sign that activities conducted by Clark PUD are lethal.
He will become the poster child for a campaign to stop killing
the parrots in Yacolt, as well as in other states in the U.S.
with wild Monk Parakeet populations. He is a symbol and an
unfortunate victim of a system that failed him - and a
government that didn't care enough to act soon enough.
This terribly cruel situation could have been avoided if the
town of Yacolt and Clark PUD had followed best practices and not
removed the parrot nests at one of the most perilous times of
the year. Even in the midst of a terrible ice and snow storm,
and months after pro-parrot activists notified the Mayor, City
Council, and Clark PUD (see:
www.BrooklynParrots.com) of the dire effects of such
continuing removals, the crews continued their work, sealing the
parrots fate. So it seems that those who wished the parrots
killed at the outset of this sad incident will get their way in
a particularly cruel fashion.
This sad story could have had a much happier ending. But one
all the blame on the Yacolt politicians and the power company.
Community efforts to negotiate a humane solution could have been
more effective; from what I have heard from multiple sources, there
appears to have been an unfortunate failure of leadership to
effectively mobilize individuals, groups, both local and national,
that could have stepped in to help avoid this bad ending.
It's tragic and ironic that just as people around the world began to
learn that these remarkable birds gave them a reason to visit Yacolt
(and provide a new source of eco-tourism revenue to the town and
local businesses), it appears that the birds have succumbed to the
elements, crushing an flowering opportunity long before before it
had a chance to bloom.
Parrots' slogan is: The phrase 'more research is needed' must never
become a euphemism for failure to act. I am asking the City of
Yacolt to ACT! You have enough information by now to know that
on-going nest removals means death for the wild Monk Parakeets.
==> IMPORTANT UPDATE:
have obtained a copy of the
following message on tape and will put it up on
line a little later!)
Last night, a man by the
name of Mr. Schutt left a voice mail for Christopher Driggins of the
N.W. Bird Rescue. In his message, he stated, "We will continue to
remove nests until directed otherwise by the City (of Yacolt)".
PUD has empowered the City of Yacolt to direct them and is
willing to stop nest removals -- IF they
are directed to do so by the City of Yacolt.
So ... Mayor
Joe Warren, Councilwoman Karen Holyk, Councilman James Weldon,
Councilman Ron Madler, Councilman Dave Hancock, and Councilwoman
Cindy Marbut: the fate of the remaining wild Monk Parakeets is up
the government of Yacolt: TELL CLARK PUD TO STOP REMOVING
NESTS DURING THE WINTER!
I encourage you
to send your comments in defense of the Yacolt parakeets to:
and ask that you please forward this to all your
birdie boards and friends who might like to help.
Please sign the
online petition to Stop Clark PUD's
Killing of Monk Parakeets
Yacoltís Wild Parrots are
Clark Public Utilities is continuing to take down the rebuilding
efforts of the wild parrots. This is forcing them to endure harsh winter
conditions without their nests. The temperatures in Yacolt are in the
30ís and have gone down to the teens. Yacolt has had snow several times
in the recent weeks. Including yesterday.
The Quakers need their nests to survive the winter. Although they are
no longer capturing and euthanizing the birds they are still being
killed. They are dying due to no shelter. The population is now being
reported at only 8 birds.
Please Consider letting Clark Public Utilities and The Yacolt Mayor
and Council know how you feel about this inhumane treatment of the
Wednesday, November 28,
Parrot Killings Halted in Washington State
Clark Public Utilities and the U.S.D.A. have called off their
plan to kill the remaining wild parrots in Yacolt, Washington.
November 27, 2007
Exotic Parakeets To Be Killed After Nests Cut Power
PORTLAND - Clark Public Utilities in Washington is euthanizing a
colony of wild, exotic parakeets because their large nests are
interrupting a neighborhood's electrical power.
Three were killed on Sunday, and five nests have been removed. But
residents are fighting against the eradication.
About 50 Monk parakeets, which are indigenous to South America, made
their home in Yacolt, Washington. They began appearing about four years
ago, residents say.
The social birds build large nests, and they are apparently drawn to
electrical transformers, perhaps for their heat or the sound of the hum.
A nest caused a power outage on Sunday. Many residents say it's a small
price to pay for their charming presence, but the utilities staff say it
Clark Public Utilities say they are killing the birds by placing
them in a chamber with carbon dioxide.
Donna Dwyer - CTQuakers, Steve Baldwin - Brooklyn Parrots and
Alison Evans Fragale- Edgewater Parrots
SUPPORT HB 5804 and STOP the Killing of the Parrots!
On Thursday March 9, 2006, NJ Bill 1237 was released from Committee
and now moves forward to the Assembly. The Quaker Advocate team of
Alison Evans-Fragale, Steve Baldwin and Donna Dwyer met in Edgewater, NJ
and headed to Trenton accompanied by Edgewater Councilwoman Maureen Holtje, Marc Fragale, Kristen Slater and Mike Trachtenberg. At the
Capitol we were joined by Dr. Michael Gochfeld and Assemblywoman
Joan Voss. Dr. Michael Gochfeld, MD PHD is a Professor in the
Environmental & Occupational Health Sciences Institute a joint
venture of Rutgers University and Robert Wood Johnson Medical
School. Dr. Gochfeld specializes in environmental toxicology and
also has conducted research in avian behavior and ecology with his
colleague and wife Joanna Burger of Rutgers University.
Assemblywoman Voss is the bill's sponsor. She is a very strong
supporter of the birds and has worked very hard in writing and
sponsoring the bill as well as gaining support for it's progress
through the legislature. Assemblywoman Voss and her assistant,
Kate met us when we arrived and spoke to us about what we could
expect to happen and about procedure.
The committee was interested and attentive. They asked questions.
They viewed the photographs Donna brought along of the birds, the death
squad carnage and the birds using the platform on Ocean Avenue, West
Haven with interest and concern. They complimented us on doing our
homework and presenting the information well as a team. They
congratulated Assemblywoman Voss for assembling such a great team.
The vote to approve the bill was unanimous 5-0.
It was a good day! Score ONE for the birds! We made it past hurdle
# 1 in NJ.
March on Trenton Article