Importer/Exporter: Do You Need to Import Birds?

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia










Malaysia is one of the country which is actively involve in import and Export of Exotic Pet birds. Based on the information that I received from Veterinary Department of Malaysia, Pet Birds is a thriving business here. Since I received some queries about importing and exporting pet birds from and to Malaysia, I am thinking of preparing this article for your reference about my finding and understanding about this issue.


Why we import pets and many of them is exotic pets

There are many reason someone would like to import birds to one country. I will list down some of the reason here for guidelines. I will not include financial reason here as I think it is not the main purpose of pets lover., however I understand that some importer or exporter stress on this point.

1. To Make the Birds available in one country.

         Import and export of birds will help pet birds lover in some country to get access to their desired birds. Exotic birds such as Macaw, Cockatoos, Hill Mynah, lori and lorikeets and other exotic softbill birds is not available in every country of the world. They are original from one place or one continent, but then with import and export of pet birds industry, this species is now available is most country of the world. For example, my cockatiel. Cockatiel is originally from Australia, however because there are birds import and export activity, cockatiel now is available in Malaysia and of course mostly the rest of the world.


2. To make the birds species survive even the original habitat is destroy

         Well, this issue has it pro and con, some may said that it is actually contribute to the extinction of the species. Yes, I agree about this, but having said that, I will also discuss the pro of this issue here. I will give example of Cockatiel and Budgie. This two birds (well they are not extinct in their native country), however, because of import and export of birds, I believe that this birds will not extinct anymore.  It is because this species is world wide distributed and everyone in the world is able to breed them even their habitat in Australia is destroy. 


What is the damage of import and export of birds

From my reading, there are also lots of disadvantage of import and export of birds activity. However, I found that this is because the activity is out of control or if there are no authority to control this activity. I still believe that if we do the activity properly, the end result is not this bad.

1. The exotic birds will become endangered or extinct.

         In birds and animals industry, there are international standards known as CITES. It have list the animals and birds to 3 category i.e. Appendix 1, Appendix 2 and Appendix 3.  Any animals which is in Appendix 1 is consider most endangered and near to extinction and therefore normal pet shop is not allowed to sell this species of birds.  In Malaysia, special permit is required to keep this species of birds and not everyone is able to get this permit. Example of the birds that is include in this list is Palm Cockatoos, Hyacinth Macaw and Moluccan Cockatoo. The other species that can be related to endangered due to import and export of pets birds is Goffin Cockatoo. From the information that I have this species of cockatoos is endangered because of too many export activity happen (without control) and all the birds that has been export come from wild birds.


2. Transfer decease to another area or country

         Sometimes due to mismanagement or poor management of the birds or animals that involve in import and export activity, the birds might get sick on the way and when it reach the destination country, it will spread the decease to another type of animals. Therefore, recently when there are birds flu cases, there are lots of country that have suspended its import and export activity with the country that is effected.


3. Change to ecosystem.

         Sometimes birds which is import to one country will escape and if they survive, they will able to create another colony of wild birds. This will definitely will effect the current ecosystem and sometimes will give the local species ‘hard time’ to survive. However, normally imported birds didn’t survive in the wild. If you currently keep a birds which is not a local birds, do not release them. They are likely to die if you do that. Therefore, if you love birds, care for them and understand them. Give the best for them.



Do you need to import or export birds ?

I think import and export of birds and exotic animals should be manage with care and not everyone need to do this.  If you have to do this, do follow the regulation properly and avoid illegal activity. Since this activity is huge industry, there are big money in it and there are many syndicate that take advantage of this activity. I trust that if import or export of birds and exotic animal is done properly and not via illegal source, it will not effect the survival of the species. Well, we all love them, and want to leave this species to our future generation right?

By the way, if you need to import birds from Malaysia, you may email me and I may refer you to some of my friend which able to do so. However, do not solicit for any illegal activity from me please.


Procedure of import and export of pet and birds in Malaysia.

If you need to know more about the procedure of import and export of birds or any other exotic pet in Malaysia, you may contact the Veterinary Department of Malaysia or visit their website.



If you are a pet birds lover and not the pet shop, I would like to recommend that you look for the birds species that you want in your country first. If you unable to do so, then you should treat importation as your last choices. But of course, you may need to import the birds if you found a good and reputable source even if it is from outside your country.




22 June 2004

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November 2003