John Hayward is one of the founders, and the co-ordinator for the National Theft Register for Lost and Found birds. This also includes dealing with Zoological Investigations, Security and Risk management, Hostage Negotiation and Response Training.
John has kindly updated us regarding the changes in CITES regulation for African Grey and Timneh Grey species.
African Grey and Timneh Grey parrots: CITES history
For many years the Timneh and African Grey species have been listed on Appendix 2 – Annex B of the Convention in International Trade in Endangered Species listings.
Every two years, the CITES conference of parties reconvenes to consider those listings and whether any animal is in need of further protection in the wild or even if successful breeding suggests that it be down graded from Appendix 1 to Appendix 2.
African Grey and Timneh Grey parrots - CITES: The changes
In early October of 2016 that regular conference took place at Johannesburg to deliberate these issues. Here submissions were made by a number of signatory member countries that the Grey should be upgraded from Appendix 2 to Appendix 1.
There was a majority vote for that proposition and the species to be listed on Appendix 1.
This was enacted on 4th February 2017 and they are now subject to Annex A within Europe and therefore the requirement of the Article 10 licence is now in force.
Defra (the UK's CITES management authority) confirm that Timneh Grey and African Grey parrots now require Article 10 Licences when such captive bred parrots are entered into commercial trade.
It is an offence to enter such Annex A species into trade without such documentation.
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African Grey and Timneh Grey chicks - CITES regulation
Breeders should now close ring their chicks in accordance with CITES regulation. They will also need to apply for an Article 10 licence. The application should be accompanied by a hatch certificate or some other document from the breeder to confirm that the parrot was captive bred and not taken from the wild.
For those chicks that are not closed rung, breeders will need to microchip them. Again, breeders will need to apply for an Article 10 licence, and supply the necessary paperwork.
Parent birds and CITES regulation
If a parent bird is not closed rung, then breeders will need to microchip them. The regulation states that all birds; both chicks and parents, must be permanently and uniquely marked. Breeders will also need to apply for an Article 10 licence for their parent birds.
These conditions already exist for Annex A parrots and now the new listing of African Grey's have the same requirements.
Possession only of a bird, compared to commercial use
Finally I would point out that current owners of Greys are not required to apply for any licence just to possess their bird. Licences are only required if that bird is entered into trade.
Trade includes the commercial buying and selling and the breeding and sale of the chicks. Therefore Article 10's are needed for the sale of both the offspring and for the parent birds producing those chicks even though those parents are not for sale,
It is deemed that the parents are entered into trade purely by the production of chicks destined for sale. Such parrots when gifted, given away without charge do not need licences.