Statement From the Directors of Birdline Parrot Rescue U.K. Ltd.
Monday 16th March 2020
Birdline depends on a network of volunteers, safehouses and members across England, Scotland and Wales. We have no permanent base and regularly transport birds nationwide. The Covid-19 pandemic has obvious implications for Birdline and its ability to continue this model of working in the short-term.
As of 16th March 2020, the government has significantly changed its advice with regards to Covid-19 and all non-essential travel and contact should now be avoided.
In order to safeguard our volunteers, our members and the wider community, we will be postponing non-essential activities such as home checks and events until such time as the government advice changes again. Imminent planned bird moves will still go ahead over the next few days, but your Area Managers will be contacting you to confirm or postpone appointments.
Birdline’s primary role is to provide a home for parrots in need. Sadly, we can foresee this need growing during the current pandemic; where owners are severely ill and their parrots need to be rehomed either temporarily or permanently. Therefore, we are not closing our doors to new intake entirely. We will instead, continue to assess our capacity and the urgency of the situation on a case by case basis. Part of this decision-making process will include the availability of and risk to our volunteers and their families. We may put in place extra precautions such as additional use of alcohol-based hand gel, avoiding handshakes, the use of PPE and curb side collections. Our volunteers have been advised of these potential changes in protocols.
Covid-19 and Parrots
There is no evidence to suggest that parrots can either be carriers of Coronavirus or become ill from it and no scientific advice has been issued. However, your pets may be impacted if you or any members of your family test positive for the virus, or if you are asked to stay at home and self-isolate. We therefore recommend you take the following sensible precautions, and to seek medical expertise if necessary.
● Government guidance is to wash hands for two minutes on a regular basis, and we advise you to do so before and after handling your parrot(s), their food, water and droppings.
● Avoid kissing or sharing food with your parrot(s).
● Ensure you have extra supplies of medication and food for your parrot(s) in case you need to enter self-isolation. Consider making and freezing chop now, so you have a steady supply.
● Avoid taking your parrot(s) outside with you (unless you are going to a vet).
● If you have to self-isolate, your parrot(s) will be delighted to spend more time with you. However, if you are suffering symptoms of the virus it would be sensible to ask another member of the household to care for their day to day needs.
● If you are likely to be hospitalised and have no one to care for your parrot and have tried all other possibilities, please contact your area manager or the helpline ASAP.
We wish to take this opportunity to thank our members for their understanding and patience during these difficult times. We also wish to thank all our volunteers for the amazing work they do. They will not be sitting on their laurels – our contact lines are still open, advice will still be given; phone interviews will still take place, and as always, we will be active on social media – particularly our Facebook page and group. Our volunteers will be developing new ways of fundraising to replace the event income we may have to forgo this year and we particularly welcome your suggestions and contribution in this area!
With kind regards