This article was previously published in Bird Breeder magazine and is reprinted here with permission of the author.
California Aviculturist Legislative Alert (1999)
by Laurella Desborough
This year marks the beginning of a two-year legislative session. Many new bills are being introduced into the California Assembly and Senate. At least one of these current bills will have an impact on aviculturists and, therefore, will be closely monitored during its passage through the legislative process. An avicultural legislative team is monitoring California legislation and will notify bird owners of pending legislation through the AFA networks, the club networks, cooperating pet stores and the Internet. This team, the California Aviculturists Legislative Association (CALA), is composed of eight long-term legislative activists who are committed to the interests of aviculture. Watch for further information on CALA and watch for their legislative website ( is this upcoming?) where ongoing legislative information will be displayed.
Nationwide Legislative Proposals
As this century winds down, watch for more regulations from the animal rights organizations that propose to end cruelty to animals and to protect animals from abuse. (Abuse and cruelty are hot-button issues for most people and will cause individuals to offer financial support and legislative support.) Whereas we can all support the goal of ending abuse to animals, the means whereby this is accomplished is not through legislation, but education. Legislation may punish, but it does not rehabilitate. Education can change the way people understand themselves and their animals, and thus, can be a positive force for better animal care. If we look at the bottom line on much of the legislation proposed by the animal rights organizations, we see that the main goal is to gain more legislative control over animals. This is accomplished through placing more power in the hands of local and state officials, as well as in the hands of animal control officers or humane society officers. Therefore, animal owners in all states would be well advised to cooperate, organize and keep a watchful eye on regulatory proposals from local ordinances to state laws. Constant vigilance is needed.