Presidents Message

Richard E. Baer


As a delegate, chairman of state coordinators, special advisor on legislative matters, executive officer and, now, president of A.F.A., I have always been informed about the many things the American Federation of A viculture does for aviculture.

However, on the occasions when I am sometimes asked by a member as to what the Federation does for him, I wonder just how many of our members, especiaJly the newer ones, are fully aware of all that A.F.A. does do. Perhaps we are lacking in communication.

Our members do receive and should appreciate the A.F.A. Watchbird. We are justly proud of our publication which has been acclaimed as not only the best avicultural magazine in this country, but to be without equal in aJI of Europe. (This, the evaluation of many readers, including a prominent writer for another journal who should know.)

The Watchbird in itself is more than adequate compensation for membership fees, but this is only one of your returns. Unlike other magazines, the A.F.A. Watchbird is the official publication of a non-profit organization whose purpose is to disseminate information and protect aviculture interests; not to make money. Fees from subscriptions and advertisements go into no one's pocket. It is all reinvested in your interests.

Most readers know that it was A.F.A., practically alone and almost unaided, that fought against the arbitrary destruction of cage and aviary birds in the recent V.V.N.D. outbreak. We took the government to Federal Court. We succeeded in getting a change in policy. We saved your birds in future outbreaks. It all cost A.F.A. over $40,000.00--money from your treasury and from the generous contributions of our membership.

What most readers do not know is that it was A.F.A. that through appeal to and quiet persuasion of understanding officials in the upper echelons of H.E. W. recently averted the proposal of a ban on the importation of psittacines. Many of these accomplishments must be gained without fan-fare or self-publicity.

 Where would the bird industry be with a ban on parrots?

The above are only a few of our attainments.

Our Federation is actively concerned with such regulations as the Injurious Wildlife Proposal (the Lacy Act) and The Endangered Species Act. We have sent our representatives to Washington many times to voice aviculture's opinions on these matters and keep our lines of communication open on these concerns.

How many readers are apprised of the fact that our A.F.A. lawyer is working on the Endangered Species Act at the very time of this writing?

A.F.A. takes a policy stand on all issues confronting aviculture, national or local. We have taken an active part in so many state and local problems affecting aviculture that space does not permit my listing them. The next "brush fire" may be in your own back yard.

A.F.A. is your best insurance for protecting a healthy and unrestricted captive bird population.

In addition to protecting aviculture (the breeder, the supplier and the manufacturer), A.F.A. is in the forefront in the education of the general public concerning the bird fancy.

It was our organization that took the initiative to bring the problems of aviculture before the U.S. Animal Health Association.

It was our Federation that established scientific seminars for education at our...

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