Game commission considers exotic bird ban

Editor’s note: For more information on this subject, visit and Bird Board

From Kathleen Rauhauser, York:

nanday1.jpgDo you have an exotic pet bird? How would you feel if the Commonwealth of
PA told you it had to be destroyed? Well, that could very well happen in
the near future.

The PA Game Commission is considering a proposal to ban in Pennsylvania ALL
Nanday Conures without “grandfathering in existing Nandays” which means if
they were “grandfathered in,” Nandays that are currently in PA could be
exempt from the ban. So if this regulation is passed and you have a Nanday
Conure, your beloved pet Nanday will have to be killed or escape to one of
the 48 states where it is safe to be a Nanday Conure. As would Nandays in
pet shops, living with people moving into PA, and ones in shelters.

When I first heard about this, I thought Nandays must be huge, dangerous
birds that are attacking people and swooping down to carry away small
children. But, upon looking into the matter, that is definitely NOT the
case. What I learned was that Nandays are beautiful, intelligent little
birds about the size of a large parakeet that can be taught to speak. They
are the most popular type of conure kept as pets.

Why then do some want them exterminated? As far as I have been able to
determine, the Game Commission is not giving any valid reason for the
proposed ban.

1. They do not pose a threat to human health and/or safety.
Nandays do not transmit bird flu.

2. They do not pose a threat to wildlife habitat in PA.

3. They are not indigenous or native to Pennsylvania. Not many
of us can claim to be from an indigenous PA group.

There is NO logical basis for taking such action.

At a minimum, these Nanday birds deserve due process and competent
representation. Shouldn’t they have an appointed representative who might
point out while the species may be alien; the birds themselves are not aliens
if they were born/bred in the U.S.? Furthermore, they or their ancestors
were captured and brought into the U.S. Perhaps a good attorney could even
get them reparations.

Assuming there is a logical reason to want Nandays to leave an area where
they reside — which to my knowledge there isn’t — surely, a more humane way can be
found to handle this matter. In the Fall of 2006, our local SPCA rescued
over 100 pet birds from an unfit situation. I adopted two of the cockatiels. They suffer from post traumatic stress and may never be as tame as my other bird. But they still deserved a safe and loving environment. Surely some safe and loving homes could be located, given more time and

There appear to be a couple of Special Interest groups behind this ban; however, Mr. Rick Palmer, Director of Fish and Game in PA, reportedly refused to tell a caller contacting him about the Nandays who the Special Interest groups are.

The Pennsylvania Board of Game Commissioners will hold its first meeting of 2008 on Jan. 27-29, in the auditorium of the agency’s Harrisburg
headquarters at 2001 Elmerton Ave., just off the Progress Avenue exit of
Interstate 81 in Harrisburg.
On Sunday, Jan. 27, the Board was to gather public comments beginning at 1 PM.
On Monday, Jan. 28, the Board was to gather public comments and hear Game
Commission staff reports beginning at 8:30 AM. On Tuesday, Jan. 29,
beginning at 8:30 AM, the Game Commission was to take up its prepared agenda.

If you are an exotic bird lover or just someone who doesn’t want to see the
government expand their current involvement in your life choices, please
e-mail your comments and suggestions to the Pennsylvania
Game Commission at: and ask that they be read into the record. If you write to them, direct your correspondence to 2001
Elmerton Ave., Harrisburg, PA 17110-9797. Phone: (717) 787-4250. Your action
may not only protect the Nandays, but may also help protect other exotic
birds in PA from being targeted next!

Thank you.

Kathleen Rauhauser, York

This entry was posted in Letters from readers. Bookmark the permalink.