WELFARE OF CAPTIVE BIRDS - DETECTING ABUSE
As with the majority of pet owners / breeders a lot of time and effort is devoted to their welfare. However as with all aspects of life there are individuals who either mistreat their animals or give scant regard to their wellbeing. Identifying such mistreatment is normally very difficult because it generally takes place out of sight.
However INTERNET posters can often give telltale signs to their true nature by various characteristics of their postings. These characteristics don't necessarily mean a specific poster is mistreating his / her pet but their postings - especially photos should be carefully monitored.
The AVATARS adopted by a poster gives valuable insight to the nature of the poster. A lot of INTERNET forum activity is related to self expression and has little relevance to the thread under discussion. There is nothing intrinsically wrong in this regarding normal forums as it is well recognised and by and large harmless. However in animal / pet forums it is different. It can indicate an indifference to the welfare of the animal or even abuse or point to a mental illness. The vast majority of forum participants will use a picture of themselves or their pet and can generally be given the green light. If an AVATAR is unrelated to either themselves or their pet or invokes a feeling of unease, then this is cause for concern. If this is accompanied by derogatory or negative postings about their animals then TAG the poster and MAKE AN ENQUIRY.
These small icons enable the poster to communicate subtle feelings about their postings and themselves which would otherwise be awkward, long winded or crass to put down in words. They can enhance the fun of a forum.
However in pet forums they can be out of place and give ambiguous messages. They are about the personality of the person and not the subject of the thread. This can cause confusion - a sad smiley for example about a sick budgie is not appropriate. This can indicate that the priority of the poster is communication or self expression and not veterinary advice - TAG the poster and MONITOR.
BIZARRE USER NAMES:
We all want to be different, to create an impression. A good user name can give a powerful impression of what you're about - It can also say that you shouldn't be looking after pets. An utterly strange and way-out user name can indicate a personality problem - MONITOR.
A lot of people like to show off their pets and hope others will appreciate them. Photo galleries are a gold mine for spotting abuse. Check for unnatural or forced postures, cramped and overcrowded cages, injuries or any photo that "doesn't look right" or any indication that it is not a free and happy bird / flock - TAG the poster and MAKE AN ENQUIRY.
Some species will harm each other if kept in a confined space.
BUDGIES - RED SPOTS OR SCRATCHES ON THE HEAD.
LOVE BIRDS - RED SPOTS OR SCABS ON TOES.
This can happen in the pet shop whilst they are waiting for a home - inform the staff and the R.S.P.C.A.
Most people who keep pets especially small mammals do so for the company they provide. There is a symbiotic relationship between the pet and the owner. The owner feeds the pet and protects it from predators and the elements. In return the pet provides the owner with company and a sense of purpose. However, control and domination can also play a part. The pet will be used as a counterbalance to the domination exerted upon the owner in earlier years especially childhood. This doesn't necessarily mean that the pet will be mistreated or abused but it can be. Check for videos that concentrate on the owner and not the pet.
NOTE ALL DETAILS OF THE POSTER, POST AND FORUM:
CREATE A NEW DIRECTORY ON YOUR COMPUTER AND COLLECT DATA OF SUSPICIOUS POSTINGS. SAVE THE PAGE AND "BITMAP" ANY SUSPICIOUS PHOTOS (HIT Print Screen SysRq) - OPEN PAINT AND PASTE THE IMAGE THEN SAVE)
MAKING AN ENQUIRY:
Budgie forums are often participated by lonely people who use the forum and their pets as a vehicle to communication. There's often a lot of banter and joking with smilies flying around and it can be difficult to weed out those persons who are not looking after their pet properly. If a posting causes concern then the best way to proceed is to register with the forum and politely make your concerns aware to the poster - it may be that you've arrived at a completely mistaken interpretation. The last thing you want is to stigmatise an already vulnerable and lonely individual. Above all don't be afraid to cause a fuss - proceed diligently and keep collecting data. If you are not satisfied with your responses then make a complaint to the forum administrator.
Wise owl world is a organization which operates from Barrow in Furness uk. They display owls in public places tethered on a line. They maintain that these owls have been rescued. I happened to come upon one of these exhibitions where one owl became startled by someone or something. It flew off and snagged on the line and was left hanging by its foot for a few seconds before the keeper returned it to the perch. I made some enquiries regarding their normal living conditions but the keepers seemed reluctant to go into detail. However when asked if they had an aviary they replied "no". This MAY suggest that the birds are kept permanently in cages. Keeping a bird on a tether in a public place and letting strangers stroke it is a dangerous and un-natural practice. This organization and its activities need monitoring. http://www.wingsoverwalney.co.uk/
! SOME IMAGES CAN BE UPSETTING !
FOX HUNTING DEBATE
THE ROYAL SOCIETY FOR THE PREVENTION OF CRUELTY TO ANIMALS
THE ROYAL SOCIETY FOR THE PROTECTION OF BIRDS
WETHERIGGS ZOO AND ANIMAL SANCTUARY
WILDLIFE CRIME IN CUMBRIA
RETURN from WELFARE to HOME