Nairobi, Kenya | Xinhua | Kenya on Thursday announced a 45-day amnesty for persons in possession of African grey parrots without a legally binding permit, to obtain one and escape prosecution.
Najib Balala, cabinet secretary in the Ministry of Tourism and Wildlife said the individuals in possession of the endangered bird species were required to obtain permits from the country’s wildlife agency within the 45-day window.
Balala said that those who declare ownership of African grey parrots at Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) offices will be granted licenses and protected from litigation.
“Any person or entities who upon expiry of this amnesty is found in possession of African grey parrots without a valid permit will be liable for prosecution,” Balala said in a statement issued in Nairobi.
He clarified that all permits that have been issued for ownership of African grey parrots are renewable annually, adding that the government is committed to protecting the birds that are regarded as human companions.
Balala said that a registration fee will be required before individuals in possession of African grey parrots are issued with a permit amid their declining numbers in Kenya’s vast savannah grasslands linked to illegal hunting.
Kenya is among African grey parrot range states and the bird can be found in the country’s savannas, coastal mangroves and forested landscapes where it plays a critical role in sustaining ecosystem balance.
It is one of the oldest bird species kept by humans and its ability to talk and mimic sounds has made it a prized companion by many cultures.
The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has listed African grey parrots as an endangered species amid habitat loss and illegal trafficking to meet growing demand in the global pet industry.