Your Government Wants to Outlaw Your Pet Bird!

Your Government Wants to Outlaw Your Pet Bird!

Last Updated on by Mitch Rezman

We’ve all heard about all those government perks Swedes get – 97% of their healthcare is picked up by various Swedish taxing bodies (about 9% of Sweden’s costs for health and medical care amount to approximately 9 percent of Sweden’s gross domestic product GDP)

Stuff like 5 weeks paid vacation when you start a job, increasing with your length of tenure – 480 days of paid parental leave – it’s cold and dark and then sunny and perfect and all those beautiful women (although I’m reminded here in edit by Catherine that the beautiful women are not supplied by the government 🙁

There are no Swedish (nor European) Parrots so you’ll have to settle for this Budgie practicing Swedish

All this talk of Sweden is because of a statement I made in last week’s blog post “Mechanics of Your Bird’s Wondrous Wings – what you probably didn’t know

2/5/2015 – “We’re still fact-checking this -> we read somewhere on the internet that Sweden or Norway passed a law making it illegal to clip a bird’s wings under 1 year of age. If someone has information we’d appreciate confirmation or denial from an important person of that country. The BirdTalk article doesn’t count”

2/9/15 – this has been fact-checked

Terri Leinneweber A fellow (Facebook) group member (Senegal Parrot Pets) provided this reference:

This is the Swedish law:…” Jordbruksverket” is the Swedish board of Agriculture. Page 13, 2 §

“I (Terri) used Google Translate on this one and it´s actually pretty much what it says in Swedish too, after a few corrections:

Limitation of flight ability of birds may only take place if:

1st – the bird is over a year old,

2nd – the bird can not be trained to use the flight harness,

3rd – limitation is performed by a “wing trimming expert”,

4th – wing trimming is only allowed once a year.

The wing trimming should be done in such a way that the bird after restriction has good stability and sufficient lift to eliminate the risk that it gets injured while attempting to fly.

Let’s give a digital hand to Terri

And because I go down digital rabbit holes for a living – as long as it concerns birds & parrots, I did a little content mining on the Swedish agricultural site. Apparently Sweden cares about its pets is much as it cares about it’s humans.

People from the Swedish government actually sat down and spelled out suggested sizes for the environment where birds are kept. Swedish caged bird keeping best practices served up by Swedish politicians.

(he gets drifty here)-> Sweden is the country that brought us IKEA. The store that sells us furniture with names like RAMSÄTRA that we have to assemble with tools that they make up. If you live in a rural area and have never been to an IKEA, the one we go to in Schaumburg IL, has got to be between 500,000 – 1,000,000 square feet. 
The building is four stories tall. The exterior is painted bright yellow and bright blue. Inside they even have escalators just for the shopping carts. There’s a cafeteria serving Swedish food on the fourth floor and you can buy $.50 kitchen utensils or complete kitchens for $20,000.
They specialize in furniture that requires assembly using at the very least an allen wrench (which should be called an alien wrench) & other tools they clearly make up. I found it’s best to consult a divorce lawyer prior to the assembly of a piece of IKEA furniture that your wife chooses. Me digress? never:-)

From the folks running Sweden who are in charge of how to care for pet birds (the following has been translated from Swedish by machines): Minimum space –

Pet birds need plenty of space to move around. The width of the space where a bird staying should be at least twice the bird’s length, and at least 45 cm.

Animal welfare states how big the cages at least should be. A cage or aviary (bird house) may well be larger, but never smaller than the dimensions in the table below.


(my notes) 1 cm = 2/5 inch 1 sq meter = 10¾ square feet – A 32 in (8.13 m) X 23 in (.584 m) cage = 5.1 sq ft (.475 sq mt)


The bird’s length from beak tip to tail tip

The minimum allowable surface

Minimum area per bird for group housing

Minimum dimension of the longest side

Minimum height

up to 15 cm

0.31 m²

0.03 m²

0.7 m

0.6 m

16-20 cm

0.31 m²

0.04 m²

0.7 m

0.6 m

21-25 cm

0.45 m²

0.055 m²

0.9 m

0.6 m

26-35 cm

0.84 m²

0.1 m²

1.2 m

0.8 m

36-45 cm

1.44 m²

0.6 m²

1.6 m

1.0 m

46-55 cm

2,2 m²

1.0 m²

2.0 m

1.2 m

56-65 cm

3.12 m²

1.5 m²

2.4 m

1.5 m

66-75 cm

4.2 m²

2.0 m²

2.8 m

1.8 m

more than 75 cm

6.5 m²

3.0 m²

3.6 m

1.8 m

As a counterpoint to thinking about all those Swedish blondes, I mean all that sunshine and thoughtfulness about pet bird ownership I offer you evidence of how our own government feels the need to control things just because they can. “Pet bird ownership laws – File this under fixing stuff that doesn’t need fixing.”

We are in touch with the Swedish Chef’s agent (from the Muppets) 

seeking an interview because he’s Swedish & knows a lot about birds.

Feather factoid: it’s illegal to own a Quaker (Monk) parakeet in 12 states: here’s a great page noting laws about Quakers in all 50 states:


That said, with spring just 6 weeks away (if you believe groundhogs) many of us are going to want to start traveling with our birds again. When you do travel with your bird, do you keep any birdie paperwork with you? 

What if your bird got lost or stolen and you were lucky enough to be able to recover it while you are on the road? How would you identify the bird now being held by a governmental facility? A picture? Almost every bird of the same species looks identical – won’t work – they will not release the bird to you based upon a photograph.

Make sure if you ever leave your state with your bird, you have some sort of documentation be it a hatching certificate or a medical document from your veterinarian – you’ve been warned. 

In case you missed it, here’s a post with some tips for terrestrial travel with your bird .

This is where we talk about the subject line in the email. 

A lot of you will look at the headlines (in bold below) and shout “Hooray it’s about time we ban parrot breeding”. Be careful what you wish for because if you read the whole article you’ll find out it’s saying is that if I live in Sauk Village Illinois, place a cockatiel in a travel carrier and drive it over to my friend’s house in Dyer Indiana 5 miles away, I will have committed a felony by violating federal law transporting this species of bird without the proper federal breeder paperwork.

Don’t waste your time getting mad at McDonald’s because they screwed up your order – just lower your expectations, it’s McDonald’s. Save your energy, you’ll need it when you read this: 

The United States Fish And Wildlife Service has announced that there will be no more domestic breeding allowed of certain parrots and other species listed in the Endangered Species Act except for the specific purpose of conservation.

American Federation of Aviculture’s Rick Jordan and others strenuously object to the edict, countering that any breeding helps propagate species. 

Here’s a link to sign a petition at

I don’t get very political here (I’ve learned) but this is about the relationship we have with our birds. By clicking the link above, after a couple of subsequent clicks you will be able to protest this law to 9 individuals @ governmental and institutional bodies – here’s the list:

  • Fish & Wildlife Service c/o the Department of the Interior

  • Chief of the Branch of Foreign Species, FWS

  • Janine Van Norman – Senior Advisor, PIJAC

  • Marshall Meyers – Secretary of the Interior

  • Ken Salazar – Director of Fish & Wildlife Service

  • Dan Ashe – U.S. House of Representatives

  • U.S. Senate – VP of Government Affairs / Legal Counsel PIJAC

  • Michael Maddox (VP of Government Affairs / Legal Counsel PIJAC) President & CEO, PIJAC

  • Michael Canning (President & CEO, PIJAC)

You have a voice:
Written by Mitch Rezman
Approved by Catherine Tobsing

Mitch Rezman

Leave a Reply

Close Menu