Scarlet macaws in an exposition park. (Photo/Beijing News)
(ECNS) — The illegal trade of parrots is rampant in China, with the price of highly popular rare species exceeding 1,000 yuan ($145), Beijing News reports.
Chinese law only allows for the purchase of parrots by zoos or the exchange of the birds between breeding bases and forbids any other form of transaction, so it is illegal to sell parrots to customers, said an industry insider.
In 2009, the sun conure or sun parakeet was listed by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCU) as one of the most endangered species globally, being under second class state protection in China. China doesn’t allow artificial breeding of sun conures, not to mention trade of the bird on the market.
However, it is hugely popular among Chinese bird keepers.
Many Taobao vendors sell sun conures at a price of around 50 yuan, while the bird is usually sold for between 300 and 500 yuan on other e-commerce platforms and via online flea markets, the paper said.
In a market near Beijing’s 3rd Ring Road, a vendor suggested an underground trade of sun conures, because “the bird isn’t allowed to be traded here in the market”.
It usually took the vendor a week to source the bird, at a price of 2,000 yuan a pair. “Because transport costs are high and supervision has now been beefed up, prices will naturally be higher,” said the vendor.
Zou Chuangqi, general manager of a parrot-breeding company in South China’s Fujian Province said parrots for exhibition or appreciation need frequent disinfection by spraying liquid medicine on their beaks and noses to prevent bird flu.
Li Li, head of Beijing Heibao Wildlife Protection Station, said poor disinfection or epidemic protection could cause the spread of bird flu as cases are increasing.