State Watch: Kansas

H.B. 2744 was proposed in the Kansas state house last year to overturn the statute that made Quaker parakeet ownership unlawful. The measure died in committee but was reintroduced this session as H.B. 2002. Before the new session, State AFA Coordinator Mike Langerot wrote the following message to various bird clubs and other Kansas and South Central Region aviculturists:

“I’d like to notify you that we will be presented with a once-in-a-lifetime chance. In the 2001 Kansas Legislature, a measure will be proposed that will make the ownership of Quaker/Monk parakeets lawful again in Kansas.

“The opportunity is unique in that it will be possible to repeal a law rather than be subjugated to one. We who raise birds and animals are generally burdened with complying with rules and regulations imposed by persons who are far away from the realities of animal husbandry. This will be our opportunity to right a mistake, repeal an outdated statute, and, in a tiny manner, eliminate bureaucracy from our activity.

“There are many individuals who would want to see the prohibition on Quakers lifted. It will require those individuals, as well as everyone else interested in aviculture, to lift the prohibition. I hope you will actively support our cause if you have a pet parrot, grow canaries, or produce decorative pheasants. “If they can prohibit a parakeet, what bird or animal is next?” you must constantly ask. Your active involvement in the problem is required.

“I have approached the AFA, the Quaker Society, and others for assistance. I’m encouraging all Kansas bird clubs to join the battle and mobilize their members to support the passing of this legislation. As more information becomes available, our friends in other states may assist us by e-mailing politicians, etc. To be ready for January 2001, we must start today. I hope clubs will include information about this topic in their newsletters. Also, I hope they would do their own study to enable their members make an educated judgment on this subject. There are several websites dedicated to the Quaker parakeet.

“Please start educate yourself and others about this situation right now. We must be prepared with educated thoughts and responses, rather than hot emotions and harsh remarks. Apathy will be our most formidable foe. When the time comes, we must demonstrate to the committee parliamentarians that there is widespread support for the adoption of this legislation. This cannot be accomplished by a single individual. Please become involved, as well as your club and others. Anyone interested in presenting as a conferee or seeking further information may contact me at 316-429-1872.”

Representative Doug Gatewood presented H.B. 2002 in the Kansas legislature, and it was submitted to the House Environment Committee. They have subsequently asked the Kansas Wildlife and Parks Commission to look into the situation. Rather than a legislation, the Quaker parakeet is restricted by regulation. Their answer will be to have public hearings followed by a sixty-day period for public discussion. Members of the Kansas Department of Agriculture will also be consulted by the Kansas WPD.

The following position paper was sent to my lawmakers, members of the Environment Committee, and administrators from the Kansas Wildlife and Parks Department and the Kansas Department of Agriculture.

Thank you to everyone who wrote, emailed, or faxed Kansas lawmakers in favour of deregulating Quaker parakeets. We can educate lawmakers and administrators about these types of bird-related concerns if we work together.

You may also contact me at [email protected] for further details. The Quaker Parrot Society has been quite active and helpful in this cause. Brenda Piper, Vice President of the QPS, is their organizer and can be contacted at [email protected]

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