All Aviculturists Are Welcome!
Falconers, waterfowl, pheasants, flamingos, parrots, finches, softbills, cranes, doves, etc.
It is our mission to represent the interests of professional aviculturalists by supporting and promoting legislative activity, professional cooperation, and scientific and educational programs that promote a healthy and robust management of captive-bred avian species.
What has the OPA been doing?
Since you last heard from the OPA we have been quite busy, even if we haven't been telling you much.
The OPA has sued the USFWS three times!
Organization of Professional Aviculturists, Inc. v. Eric Kershner and USFWS, No. 20-cv-22059 (S.D. Fla. filed May 17, 2020)
Organization of Professional Aviculturists, Inc. v. Clifton Horton and USFWS, No. 20-cv-24039 (S.D. Fla. filed Oct. 2, 2020)
Organization of Professional Aviculturists, Inc. v. Margaret Everson and USFWS, No. 19-cv-20195 (S.D. Fla. filed Jan. 14, 2019)
In our most recent lawsuit, Organization of Professional Aviculturists, Inc. v. Eric Kershner and USFWS, we are continuing our successful lobbying efforts to prevent the addition of avicultural species to be added to the list of species, which are prohibited from ownership under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. The Migratory Bird Treaty Act currently makes it illegal to own 1,093 species, which are deemed native to the United States. The USFWS is attempting to add 47 new species to that list, many of which are established in U.S. aviculture, including the Red-legged Honeycreeper, the European Robin, the Bananaquit, and the Pink-Footed Goose.
While the OPA’s lobbying efforts were successful in removing the European Turtle Dove from the list, the USFWS refused to change their mind on several other species and because of this, the OPA has sued arguing that is improper to list species with only one or two sightings in the United States, which are also established in U.S. aviculture. Currently, the OPA is awaiting a decision on the case by the District Judge, but we are prepared to take this all the way up to the Supreme Court if the need arises.
The OPA has also been involved in supporting new and existing cooperative breeding programs. While we cannot disclose everything at this moment (you never know which AR groups are watching!), we can say that we are currently supporting the creation of a new cooperative breeding program for Lorikeets with unsustainable populations in the United States. The USFWS has given our members a hard time in establishing this consortium and the OPA stands ready to sue if the USFWS fails to approve the consortium.
We have also been contacted by a group of softbill breeders who are interested in importing new species of Turacos to the United States. While we are still in the development stage of this plan, we hope to file with the USFWS this year.
Also of note, the OPA is working to approve the commercial import of captive-bred Cactus Conures from Europe. This is exciting for two reasons, 1) the species does not currently exist in the U.S. and 2) this is a test case that will, if successful, open the doors for further and easier importation of avicultural species. We all know the need to reinvigorate the bloodlines of our species!
Along this line, the OPA has affiliated with the Lineolated Parakeet Society and is jointly working together to open up the importation of pure green Lineolated Parakeets from Europe as part of their, “It’s Not Easy Being Green Project.” (https://linniesociety.org/its-not-easy-being-green-project/) This would be a major boost to the U.S. Linnie population!
Last and definitely not least, the OPA is involved in lobbying the USDA over the new Animal Welfare Act regulations, which are likely to affect every bird breeder in the United States. If the USDA intends to follow through and publish regulations by 2023, the voice of breeders must be front and center. Further, by being directly involved with the creation of the regulation at this stage, the OPA will be a ina perfect position to sue the USDA in 2023 if the final rules are not to our liking. At a minimum, the OPA intends to ensure that any new regulations are not retroactively applied to existing breeding facilities!
We hope the membership feels that we are fighting the good fight. However, if there is an issue that we have missed or a project that you would like assistant with please reach out to David Garcia, the OPA’s attorney. His direct line is 305 319 1309 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org
‣ To promote that aviculturists share common cause with wild bird conservation and protection of species in the wild.
To speak with a unified voice so our influence is felt by all the relevant branches of government.
To promote a favorable image of aviculture and its co-industries by educating the public to recognize the fact that our production promotes wild bird conservation in that it is the way the public becomes familiarized with avian species.
To help protect the legal and promotional interests of aviculturists worldwide by sharing appropriate information and by presenting our organization as a model for organizations in other nations.
On January 14, The Organization of Professional Aviculturists (OPA) filed the first in what will likely be a series of lawsuits under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).
This filing is regarding information needed to challenge U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) actions, or lack thereof, under provisions in the Wild Bird Conservation Act (WBCA). Specifically, OPA needs to know 1) information regarding the agency’s failure to include additional species on the WBCA approved list, 2) information relating to the approval of permits for consortium and cooperative breeding agreements especially for CITES Appendix I species, 3) information relating to approval of permits for importing personal pets, 4) all agency documents relating to approval of permits for import/export of avian species, 5) all documents relating to interpretation of the agency’s obligations under CITES and how that affects its obligations under the WBCA, and more broadly 6) all documents relating to the agency’s interpretations of its obligations under the WBCA.
"Promoting the beneficial role of aviculture in conservation and trade to preserve both wild and aviary birds"