ABA Inc Introduction

The Associated Birdkeepers of Australia Inc. (ABA Inc.) was established in 1982 to counter the perceived threats to aviculture from various government departments, specifically the Vertebrate Pest Act. The ABA Inc. mounted a vigorous campaign to limit the damage to aviculturists’ in NSW and were successful in having birds specifically EXCLUDED. This remains the situation to this day.

Other States have some controls over certain species of exotic birds and these will be summarised in coming ABA Inc. newsletters. The federal scheme for the registration of exotic birds which, after the initial “shock horror” became a viable instrument allowing buyers to be aware that birds they were about to purchase were registered and therefore legal.

Unfortunately in February 2002 we saw the demise of the NEBRS (National Exotic Bird Registration Scheme), when it was hastily scraped for budgetary reasons. Since then more illegal birds have been allowed to enter the country and the market with the risk of bringing in disease to exotic and native birds.

The ABA Inc. has been constantly involved in NSW with the registration of native bird species, playing a vital part on the agenda items of the Native Animal Consultative Committee (NAKCC) with a representative present at all meetings. We have maintained a watching brief over proposed changes in legislation and policies which could affect aviculturists in all other States, in case help was sought from ABA Inc. members in those States.

The biggest challenge however has been with Local Government authorities.

Most councils are realistic but every now and then one proposes or conducts drastic or draconian measures to prevent bird keepers from enjoying their hobby.

We have not had a failure to date and most conflicts have been resolved through communication and co-operation.

In the one instance when it became necessary to take court action we were most successful and the council concerned was forced to eat humble pie.

Animal welfare is another issue that will probably impinge on our activities more and more. To survive in this world where aviary, loft and chook yard space is constantly diminishing presents a challenge to us to lift our standards. Various animal rights group continue to be vigilant in holding a ‘watching brief’ over all matters pertaining to the “keeping and breeding of birds” and will continue to be a constant and increasing threat.

Our task, with your assistance, is to develop and promote appropriate and acceptable standards such as the Code of Ethics (already available for all members) and to educate the public and especially all new and old birdkeepers of those standards.
The public’s perception of our hobby is of paramount importance, we therefore ask all birdkeepers to do the RIGHT THING.