SF leaders consider bird sale ban

City leaders in San Francisco are considering further restricting the sale of small animals in the city to include birds.

June 18, 2010 6:59:25 PM PDT
Sally Stephens of San Francisco's Commission of Animal Welfare went on a listening mission with co-commissioner Andrea Brooks to pet stores in the city.

"Philosophically, I would hope we would be on the progressive wave of animal welfare," Brooks said.

But lately, that commission has angered some of the very people it supposedly serves, by beyond prohibiting the sales of small mammals in San Francisco.

Now the commission is considering birds and critics say the abandoned ones have reached critical mass.

"These birds end up in shelters, on Craigslist, surrendered to rescue, they are set free, threatened to be set free and abandoned in vets," bird advocate Elizabeth Young said.

"If you consider yourself a guardian, it means you are committed to that animal for the rest of your life," Stephens said.

"What are they going to control next? Who can have children?" Carol Stanley from Feathered Nest Aviary said.

The Animal Store has been around for 35 years and it's become a Noe Valley Institution. But its owners say that if this bird selling ban passes, they could go out of business.

"I think it has morphed from dog and cat legislation to include everything and it has gotten out of hand," Rick French from the Animal Store said.

In the meantime, at the San Francisco animal shelter, there were two birds up for adoption, along with assorted mice, rats and a bearded lizard. In fact, they don't see a lot of birds.

"About a couple a week, not a lot. Probably the same about a pet store would sell," Rebecca Katz from the shelter said.

All these facts are duly noted by commissioners who hope to do the right thing when they vote next month.

"Even if it's legislated that people can't sell animal or birds in San Francisco, people will go elsewhere. It won't solve their problem," French said.


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