The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service advises Americans planning to travel abroad with their pet birds, that because of avian flu concerns, many countries have temporarily banned the importation of birds, including pet birds, from the United States. While the Service is still issuing permits under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) for the export of pet birds, the agency encourages international travelers to contact the country or countries they plan on visiting regarding any new restrictions.
European Union member nations Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom, as well as countries in Latin America, the Caribbean, and Asia either temporarily have banned or may ban the importation of such birds until further notice.
Contact information for most foreign authorities may be found on the CITES website. Additional information and updates may also be obtained from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s web site; click on “hot issues.”
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is the principal Federal agency responsible for conserving, protecting and enhancing fish, wildlife and plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people.
The Service manages the 95-million-acre National Wildlife Refuge System, which encompasses 542 national wildlife refuges, thousands of small wetlands and other special management areas. It also operates 69 national fish hatcheries, 64 fishery resources offices and 81 ecological services field stations.
The agency enforces federal wildlife laws, administers the Endangered Species Act, manages migratory bird populations, restores nationally significant fisheries, conserves and restores wildlife habitat such as wetlands, and helps foreign governments with their conservation efforts.
It also oversees the Federal Assistance program, which distributes hundreds of millions of dollars in excise taxes on fishing and hunting equipment to state fish and wildlife agencies.
Tom R. MacKenzie – Chief, Media Relations
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service – Southeast Region