Documentation

An Identity Portfolio for Your Bird

One of the biggest problems people have in obtaining CITES and other travel permits for their birds is proving that their birds actually are their birds! The following are some ideas on how to prepare an identity portfolio for your pet bird. And once you have a portfolio – look after it like you would any other irreplaceable document – because it just might be impossible to replace.

Buying from a breeder

  • keep a business card or other identifying information from your breeder
  • keep your purchase receipts
  • obtain a copy of the hatching and rearing records
  • if the bird has any permanent identifying features make sure these are documented on the transfer papers
  • if you buy over the internet, make sure to keep copies of all correspondence

Buying from a pet store

  • keep a business card or other identifying information from your pet store
  • keep your purchase receipts
  • obtain a copy of the hatching and rearing records from the store if the bird was hatched or hand-reared there
  • obtain a document that states when and from where the pet store obtained the bird
  • if the bird has any permanent identifying features make sure these are documented on the transfer papers
  • if the pet store will not provide this information DO NOT BUY here

Obtaining a bird privately

  • have a written record of the name and address of the person from whom you obtained the bird
  • if there is no actual sale of the bird to document, write a letter describing the transfer of ownership of the bird that is signed and dated by the new and old owner
  • ask for any documentation of provenance of the bird that the previous owner may have
  • if the bird has any permanent identifying features make sure these are documented on the transfer papers
  • try to obtain any additional information on how long the current owner has had the bird, and where the bird came from.

If you think your bird might have been imported

  • find out when and from where it was imported
  • ask for a CITES certificate, or at least the CITES permit number

Selling or giving your bird to a new owner

  • make sure a copy of all this information is passed along to the next owner – it will be a big help to him or her (Please review conditions indicated in “Obtaining a Bird Privately”

Establishing your provenance

  • keep documents (including veterinary visit reports) and photographs that would help establish that the bird has been a part of your family for as long as it has – a picture of your parrot with a young child can certainly help to establish its age

Permanent identification

  • a closed, numbered leg band, a microchip, or a tattoo are all permanent identifiers
  • an open leg band is less reliable
  • if you remove a closed band from your bird have a veterinarian do the removal and immediately place a microchip – this provides you with a permanent chain of identity which you will not have if the chip is not placed by the person removing the band
  • if there is a reason your bird cannot have a closed band or microchip placed have a letter from a veterinarian to support this
  • other distinguishing marks, such as scars, unusual feathering, or healed fractures could also serve as permanent identifying features. You would need a veterinarian to certify to these.

Travel Documentation

Severemacaw-iStock_000006023357XSmall-tn

  • Photocopy, photograph, or scan any important documents and take copies with your during travel as it is difficult to replace them if lost.
  • Know CITES regulations before making plans to travel with your bird
  • Do your research if traveling outside of Canada

Obtaining CITES permits can be complicated and should be undertaken well in advance of any animal import or export. A list of types of permits is available online. It is important to consult with staff at CITES to ensure that all paperwork is in order. If a CITES permit is required from a foreign country you must contact that country’s CITES office directly to apply for permits. For animals traveling to and from the United States, contact the US Fish & Wildlife Service.