What should we do?
Contact the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs in the UK to demand that they put an end to tethering of birds of prey in UK zoos. Encourage your friends and family to send a message too.
Flouting of restrictions
A report by the UK-based charity Freedom For Animals demonstrates that zoos frequently tether birds for long periods in the public gaze, preventing them from seeking shelter from weather or privacy from onlookers. Birds that should by law never be tethered, such as owls and young birds with vulnerable growing bones, have been observed being tied down, while others struggle against their tethers through fear, frustration or boredom. The charity saw signs of stress, such as chewing at the leg straps, in birds at all zoos they visited.
Freedom for birds of prey
Where birds are still kept in captivity, the charity encourages a move towards free-flight aviaries with room for birds to engage in natural behaviours. Birds should, by law, have somewhere to hide from the gaze of zoo visitors, as well as the fundamental rights of any captive animal: freedom from hunger, discomfort, pain and fear and the freedom to express natural behaviours.
Changes to laws
The charity is pushing for a review of the laws and regulations surrounding captive birds of prey, both in zoos and private homes. Unless the laws we have are enforced correctly, birds will continue to suffer for our convenience and entertainment.
Campaign by OneKind Planet volunteer, Ami Patrick.