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In the News

Parrots Sold at Wholesale Auction

PARROTPPROTECTION.ORG will soon launch a new forum that spotlights issues, people, and/or organizations which affect parrots. We haven't solidified the details yet, but our aim is to recognize with honor those that make significant contributions to parrots and/or the field of aviculture. Issues affecting parrots will be highlighted on this forum, and those that exploit and/or hurt parrots….there we will, for the most part, let the facts speak for themselves.

Below is the impetus for our new feature; it was this shocking advertisement with its carnival-like aspects that resulted in the decision to spread the word to readers who may not have been aware. This advertisement largely speaks for itself, but we have additional information, and opinion, and will provide commentary below the flyer.

First and foremost, we categorically and without exception oppose the sale of parrots at auction or any type of wholesale distribution. We do not fear that our posting this flyer will provide additional exposure for the auction house; we are confident that regular readers to this site will share our views.

As the flyer above clearly shows, on June 16, 2007, Stampler Auctions will be handling the sale of over 600 exotic animals, mostly parrots. Per Stampler’s own website, they specialize in “Commercial Business Liquidations.” Tractors, or as in the flyer above, parrots described as "livestock," all just business assets to be liquidated. Stampler’s also handled an earlier auction March 31, 2007 of the sale of 500 parrots, at which time their ad referred to parrots as “proven factories-money makers.” (see: http://network.bestfriends.org/parrots/news/12753.html)

Many individuals concerned about the welfare of the parrots to be sold at auction contacted Harry Sampler, president of Sampler Auctions before the March 31 auction. Below is the response he provided to many of those that contacted him (from: http://network.bestfriends.org/parrots/news/12753.html)

Obviously, you have your mind made up and I will not try to change it. These birds will be sold in pairs, as applicable. No one is splitting mates. They are, have been and will be money-makers. It may not be right, but it happens with veal, chickens and even roses...they are grown or raised to sell. Someone makes money off of them.

I have four children, all in private school. I need to conduct auctions like this to survive. If not Stampler, then another auction firm will help Bob Beech move on with whatever remains in his life. These birds are not mistreated and contrary to that probably treated better than ever due to the fact that they have the potential to produce revenues for years.

Comparisons to slave-trading border are far out. I appreciate your passion and wish you well on your mission. These birds will be sold to the highest bidder and if that bidder chooses to let the birds fly free or to keep them as non-producing singles, that is the buyer's prerogative.

Sincerely,

Harry Stampler, President

Stampler Auctions,

Objectively, Mr. Stampler has a point. Though we who love parrots are sickened by the way they are presented here and disposed of as nothing but merchandise, he’s simply conducting his auctioneering business. More important, then, is the question, who made the choice to sell the birds at auction? The flyer announces that the birds are owned by a “renowned vet & breeder.” The vet that owns these 600+ exotics and has chosen to sell them at wholesale auction, onsite and simultaneously through the internet, is Dr. Susan L. Clubb, Dip ABVP (Avian). There are almost 100,000 practicing veterinarians in the United States; of those, only just over 100 are board certified avian vets, a certification which Dr. Clubb earned in 1994. Avian board certification is a rigorous process of study and practice overseen by the AVMA. As a board certified avian vet, Dr. Clubb has extensive knowledge of the physical and psychological health issues particular to the many species of parrots. We are not taking a stand on the fact that Dr. Clubb has been running a commercial breeding operation since 1992; she, and the flyer above state she must “liquidate assets” because of a divorce situation. What we oppose is the choice to sell these intelligent, sentient creatures indiscriminately to the highest bidder with no regard to their health, well-being, or uncertain futures. Certainly with Dr. Clubb’s extensive contacts within the breeding industry, her “collection” (as she called it in an open letter) could have been sold, with some effort, at the very least to reputable breeders. Using an auction house that specializes in commercial liquidations was simply a more expedient means to attract the most buyers—with no regard to any buyer's qualification other than money.

As the date of the auction nears, those that are interested in trying to help are asking what they can do. As always, the animals are priority. Contact rescue organizations and offer support to existing efforts which will identify particularly vulnerable birds. Efforts will be made to enact laws in the future to stop wholesale auctions of this type; write to your representative or senator and ask for support (polite letters only, please!). Local media has been contacted and is expected to be onsite for the auction; write letters to support these efforts.

It is heart-breaking that once again, we have an egregious example of the exploitation of parrots, these incredible, intelligent, feeling wonders of the sky; undomesticated but filling millions of cages to support the needs of supply and demand. Please take some time from your busy schedules to help support the end of these auctions in the future.

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