Importing a Parrot

by Paul
(Vava'u Tonga)

I live in Tonga (South Pacific) and I am thinking of getting a pet parrot. I have done some research and have found the legal requirements and the Pet Transport companies that do this, but I am worried about the stress a 4 hr flight to transport a bird from NZ would cause. Is it safe ship birds? Are there any "tricks" to make the ordeal any easier? I love animals, and the last thing I want to do is harm, or God forbid kill a bird.
PS as for vets we do not have bird vet on our island, but vets do come and visit regularly.

Thanks Paul

Comments for Importing a Parrot

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Jun 18, 2011
were you able to import a parrot to tonga?
by: Koohan

Hi Paul,

I live in Hawaii with my pet parrot/family member, but wish to move further south, such as Fiji or Tonga. However, it seems from my little internet research that most of the south pacific island countries and territories do not allow pet birds. Were you able to import your birdie to Tonga? Am desperate to hear back!

Jan 07, 2010
Thanks For the info
by: Paul

I am sorry if I was unclear, I never intended to "ship" the bird via ship. I was using the term to refer to sending the animal. I had always intended to send the bird via aircraft. Thank you for your comments, I guess the best thing is to simply not have a parrot.



Jan 07, 2010
Shipping a bird
by: Tracie

I know many breeders that fly their baby birds to customers without issue. I suggest that you contact some breeders, even in the US via Email, and get advice from them.

The main issue is who you are purchasing from. Are they a reputable breeder? Do they have experience in flying birds to customers? If so, do they give references? If they don't want to give customer names, you could ask them to give your information to people and have them contact you.

If the breeder does not use an airline that is accustomed to flying pets, the bird may not make it alive. If the breeder is not reputable, you may get a sickly bird that will die. If the person is a rip off, you may send money to someone that doesn't even have a bird to sell.

I hope everything works out for you.

Jan 07, 2010
Importing a Parrot
by: Linda

I think you'll want to be able to actually bring your parrot back and not have it shipped. They DO NOT TAKE CARE OF THE BIRDS ON SHIPS, and yours will most likely die from this lack of care plus the stress of the trip.Wild birds can also be diseased, so an Avian Vet will be a must have.

The US stopped allowing parrots and other exotics like snakes and lizards being imported because the death count was 85-90%. They too, came on boats from various countries of origin. Once they arrived at our borders, they were held for 30-45 days and fed a mash of rice and grain laced with Tetracycline which killed some more of them. Barely 5% actually made it to pet stores here in the US, so in the 80's, government banned the importation of exotic animals.

Regardless of your laws, a trip by ship will most likely kill your bird. Another issue is you HAVE TO HAVE AN AVIAN VET TO TREAT THEM, and your new bird will need an Avian Vet right away after its ordeal. A regular vet CANNOT diagnose and treat parrots because they do not have the extra schooling and are not licensed to treat them. If the trip does not kill the bird, a regular dog and cat vet will finish the job.

I would recommend another kind of pet and wait on a parrot until you are able to physically transport it yourself on an airplane in the passenger section right with you. Birds also die in cargo holds of airplanes since the holds are not pressurized or oxygenated. A bird would have to be in a carrying case and taken on as carry-on luggage.

Sorry to take such a negative stand, and you do want what is best for the bird, so not having one is the best thing for the bird.

Thanks for writing,

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