Like many of you, I belong to Facebook. It was on Facebook that I have found many illegal activities are openly advertised. Just this morning a new member of a group I belong to (a local livestock and tack sale group) was advertising African Parrots for sale. Not only is she violating the rules by listing an animal that is not livestock nor tack, she happens to be in Alabama (the local group is for people in Oregon only). While the listing was not that unusual the photo she used was. It was of 4 men poaching parrots. In her comments, after being asked about the photo, she said she paid these men to get the parrots out of the Cameroon forest. After a few people commented and even one mentioned it was illegal to do that, she was still oblivious to the fact that she was an international smuggler of parrots. She replied back stating that they were happy, healthy and the people who said it was against the law should talk to the other happy owners of these birds…………..WTF!!
So I went in search of some facts on parrot smuggling in the USA. In the USA, importing animals is governed under both the USDA and the Customs Department. On this page, on the USDA website you will see what is and is not legal to import regarding pet birds.
It took some more searching to find out how to report someone who is involved in smuggling parrots. On the USDA website they have a hotline number to report them, it is 1-800-BE ALERT
I did do some more investigation on that person from Alabama and found out she only had 3 friends on her Facebook page but belonged to over 30 groups all over the world that were sale groups for pets. I also Googled her name (click here to see who it is) and came up with nothing, so I am assuming it is a fake name and profile. So if the profile is fake, it could be a few things:
- It is an investigator looking for people who want to buy parrots that are illegally smuggled
- Someone out to rip people off
- An idiot who actually thinks they can sell illegally smuggled parrots to people.
After my quick investigation of about 15 minutes online, I went back to see her ad and it was gone. I guess the administrator of the group removed it – fast. I also noticed that she was removed from the group.
Since it is a holiday here in the USA and all the government offices are closed, I won’t be calling the 800 number today. But I might just call tomorrow and ask them a few questions.