What You Don’t Know ~ Could be Critical!
by Adrianne Mock AFA Legislative VP
Legislation affects all of us as bird owners. Whether we breed, rehome, rehabilitate, rescue, keep birds as companions or ALL of these, we will be affected by legislation. Laws and regulations can be as simple as number limits and noise regulations, to bans on breeding and out- right bans on various species. It is vital that all of us be aware of what is happening in our local and state communities as well as the overall federal laws. Remember that just because legislation doesn ’ t specifically say “ birds ” doesn ’ t mean it won ’ t affect us. Bans and restrictions on “ exotics ” can and eventually will in- clude all non - native species. Get to know and keep in touch with your local and state lawmakers – call and visit them during their office hours, offer to aid them in reelection campaigns or community events, provide information on birdkeeping, invite them to bird club/ group meetings. You can find their information including office hours online. ALWAYS be polite and respectful – remember your legislators are people too and have a job to do. Make YOURSELF and the American Federation of Aviculture the source of information on avian and aviculture related topics. An email and phone number should always be provided so the legislator can contact you if necessary. Bring cookies or other treats to meetings. Dress appropriately, as if you were going to an important job interview or meeting. No torn jeans or sneakers please! (Watch for bird poop on the back of your clothes!!) Make “ calling cards ” with the important information to leave with legislators, their staff and assistants. These should include the American Federation of Aviculture web link, your name and contact information. Bring “ leave behind ” documents with important information. These will be available for members soon on the AFA website. - What is AFA? - Current legislation we want to pass or not pass with explanations why it is good/bad for animal own- ership/aviculture. I strongly recommend following and possibly joining USARK (US Association of Reptile Keepers). They have been instrumental in keeping us updated on legislation that affects all of us. Other organizations that keep up on legislation include The Cavalry Group, NAIA (National Animal Interest Alliance, CaRPOC (California Responsible Pet Owners Association), CFA (Cat Fanciers Association). If you ’ re not sure who to contact in your area, here are some links that may help: Who is my legislator?
Governor: https://www.usa.gov/state - governor Senators: https://www.senate.gov/senators/
Congresspersons: https://www.house.gov/representatives/find - your - representative In addition, look up your city or county councilmembers as well as County judge/ sheriff (there may be different designations depending on where you live). This information is all online. Find out who is in charge of your local animal control – there may be more than one; go meet them. NOTE – do NOT provide any information on what you have or how many, or a physical address. Remember that animal RIGHTS is not animal WELFARE. HSUS (Humane Society of the United States) has members in EVERY State Capitol as well as THE Capitol. WE need to be there as well, talking to OUR elected representatives, and provide consistent, correct infor- mation on aviculture and animal ownership.
4 Volume XLVIX ● January 2022 4
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