As part of the Health and Safety code, relating to birds, in the civil codes of the State of California, this bill was brought forward to address the safety and sale of unweaned pet birds. After several amendments it waited for the Governor's signature. Before Governor Davis left office he signed this bill and made it California Law.
Summary of this important bill as it applies to the sale of avian species in the pet industry:
1. This law became effective September 1, 2004.
2. Definition of a "weaned psittacine": The individual bird must be able to eat independently and sustain its weight for a period of two weeks without any human or parental assistance.
3. No pet shop, breeder, or person may sell an unweaned Psittaciforme bird to the general retail public.
4. A pet shop of five or fewer employees may not possess an unweaned bird on their premise unless the pet shop employs at least one person per pet shop location who has completed the Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council's (PIJAC) Avian Certification Program. (This certificate should be posted on the premises)
5. A pet shop with six or more employees may not possess an unweaned bird unless the pet shop employs at least two people who have completed the Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council's (PIJAC) Avian Certification Program.
6. A vendor may not sell an unweaned bird at a swap meet or bird mart.
Any person violating any provision of this chapter shall be subject to a civil penalty of up to one thousand dollars per violation.
Dr. Nemetz's view 2021:
Some people in the pet industry were against this bill as they feared it would hurt their business. This bill only elevated the care and quality of the birds sold in the State of California as a whole and discouraged certain portions of the industry from selling birds as "weaned" when in fact they are still dependent on hand feeding. The incidence of pediatric maladies has decreased 98% at The BIRD Clinic. The Bill 202 has been a BIG win for the overall pet bird world in California but unfortunately we are the only state that has such a law.
(revised Jan 2021)