Healthy People in a Healthy Environment

Pet Store Inspection and Exotic Bird Program

What is an exotic bird?

An exotic bird consists of any of the following species: Bunting, Canary, Cockatiel, Cockatoo, Conure, Dove, Pigeon, Finch, Lorikeet, Lory, Lovebird, Macaw, Mynah, Parakeet, Parrot or Weaver.

Pet Stores are  inspected bi-annually to ensure compliance with operational standards, sanitation requirements and humane conditions for animals.  Laws and regulations pertaining to control of rabies and psittacosis, sale and distribution of reptiles, sale and distribution of pet animals and control of communicable diseases in pet stores are vigorously enforced.  Other enforceable aspects of State law and regulation include the posting of reptile CAUTION notices, and prohibition of the sale of viable reptile eggs and turtles with shell lengths less than four (4) inches.  The overall goal of the inspection program is to minimize the occurrence of zoonotic diseases.

If I breed exotic birds in my own home and sell or give them away, am I required to have a permit?

Yes, if you plan to breed any of the above listed birds and sell them or give them away, you are required to obtain an exotic bird permit issued by the Harford County Health Department. There is no fee for the permit but prior to its issuance, the Health Department must inspect the area where you intend to raise the birds.

You will be required to maintain records on all bird transactions (name, address, and phone number of persons to whom birds are given or sold). With your permit, you will be provided the latest copy of the Psittacosis Compendium, which is published by the National Association of State Public Health Veterinarians. We request that all exotic bird breeders become familiar with the Psittacosis Compendium and its requirements regarding exotic bird care and Psittacosis prevention.

You will be provided other information concerning exotic bird care and may be required to invest in some Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). The items are of low cost and can be purchased at any home improvement or hardware store.

If you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact the Health Department at 410-877-2300.

COMAR 10.06.01