The Parrot Society UK National Theft Register

(Zoological and Wildlife Investigation Agency) Founded 1996

This Service is available to all persons re: Parrot Species Thefts, Losses, and Recoveries
Contact: - John Hayward (National Theft Register Co-ordinator)
Tel / Fax: (44) 01869 325699
E-mail: John Hayward

John Hayward has for the last four years administered the Animal Theft Co-ordination Scheme on behalf of the U.K. Zoo Federation, The Parrot Society and the British Chelonia Group, (Tortoises, Turtles and Terrapins).

This was a previous un-filled void, as the Police do not maintain such a National index of stolen Species.

All such zoological birds, animals and reptiles, found, stolen or lost are recorded, circulated and all thefts researched to link the series and identify future patterns and trends.

All CITES species are circulated Internationally via CITES Secretariat Geneva, H.M. Customs for 'All Ports Warnings', Interpol and E.A.Z.A. namely the European Association of Zoos and Aquaria.

Similarly, whenever a theft occurs on the Continent or anywhere abroad John's office is notified and all Agencies are notified in the U.K. in case the birds / animals are entering this Country.

John reports:

Bird thefts are always the biggest problem. Parrots, Cockatoos and Macaws are regularly stolen from Zoos, Bird Gardens, private aviaries, breeders, Pet Shops etc., together with Tortoises and other animals and smaller birds.

There is little doubt that the majority are taken abroad as very few are ever recovered locally. The thieves travel, they are professional and generally steal to order.

To help stem the ever-increasing thefts of this type 1 would appeal to all Bird Keepers to ensure that their Birds can be POSITIVELY IDENTIFIED either by close ring or microchip, or both.

The best deterrent is to catch the thieves and have them convicted and birds recovered. The Police have limited resources and will not investigate thefts of stolen property of any kind if it cannot be properly identified.

If you can't prove the bird stolen you can't expect to prove a case of theft against anyone.

The thieves will invariably visit prior to the theft to research alarm systems and the ' lie of the land'.

It is essential therefore for everyone with BirdHouses, Aviaries, Collections and Shops to be particularly vigilant and to note any suspicious incident and especially to record details of any suspect motor vehicle.

Any such incidents should be reported immediately to the Office, e-mail John Hayward as whenever any theft occurs and is reported, the more information we can give to the Police, the better will be the response.

There is little doubt that the C.I.T.E.S. Controls are having some effect.

Due to the restrictions of import/export from the Wild, at times demand is greater than the supply and therefore our captive birds come under attack.

The message therefore is 'Don't make it easy for the thief. Ring and Microchip your birds. Retain feathers and store in a secure signed and dated envelope - (as a 'control sample') and consider having a small sample of blood taken the next time you visit the Vet, again for identification purposes. D.N.A. now exists for comparison and identification purposes.'

Since the new European COTES Regulations came into effect in June 1997, all Annex A species most be permanently marked and the unique number on the close ring or microchip must be submitted to the Management Authority, namely the D.E.T.R. before they will issue the licence/certificate for the sale of the bird.

Anyone offered an Annex A bird, for example a Scarlet Macaw, Goffins or Moluccan Cockatoo, Cuban Amazon etc. should demand and examine the documentation.

We drastically need to reduce the numbers of our birds being stolen. They are intelligent sensitive creatures and the stress of being forced into bags and boxes by thieves wearing balaclavas in the dead of night is the most cruel of criminal activity. Very often, they do not survive the trauma, we lose the future breeding programmes but ultimately it is the very welfare of these beautiful ENDANGERED SPECIES that is the primary concern.

If you have any information on Thefts etc. please contact John Hayward

All information treated with the utmost confidentiality.
John Hayward (National Theft Register Co-ordinator)
Tel / Fax: (44) 01869 325699
E-mail: John Hayward