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Able to do the one thing we all wish our cats and dogs could do, birds offer all the companionship value of our furry friends with the bonus of being able to respond to us in a language we can actually understand. Here’s a few ways homeowners can ensure the health and happiness of the feathery friend in their home:  

Check the local animal by-laws
According to the Western Cape Government website: “Birds in captivity only need a permit if the bird species is classified as protected or endangered”. This rule is much the same across the nation. But, animal by-laws vary according to each city council, so it’s advisable to get in touch with your local municipality before you purchase any pet that could potentially be considered as either exotic or wild. If you did want to keep a bird that belongs to either of these categories, then you will have to apply for a permit. Most local pet shops ought to be aware of the process required for applying for such a permit.

Keep things squawky clean
According to all municipal by-laws, homeowners may keep birds in residential areas as long as they take effective measures for the prevention and destruction of flies, cockroaches, rodents and other vermin and maintain the premises from offensive odours arising from the keeping of birds and poultry.

Don’t ruffle your neighbours feathers
The law also requires that the keeping of birds as pets does not disturb or hinder the comfort, convenience, peace or quiet of the public. Noise complaints are one of the most frequent issues faced when owning a parrot. As a form of illegal behaviour, you can be fined or even arrested if you fail to address the issue when faced with a neighbour’s complaint against the noise.

To keep your bird from making too much noise – keeping in mind that it is part of their natural instincts to chirp throughout the day – you need to keep you bird in a calming environment. The more stressed or anxious a bird feels, the more noise it will make. Store your birdcage in quiet room away from jarring sounds and street noise, as well as away from your neighbours’ earshot. Keeping a blanket over the cage will also help to lull Polly Parrot into a peaceful sleep whenever she gets a bit too enthusiastic with her squawking.

Avoid Sectional Titles
The proximity to your neighbours in these kinds of homes inevitably results in complaints of some kind. Beyond this, most sectional titles are governed by HOAs with strict rules against pets of any kind. Freehold properties will always offer the best sort of home for buyers who know they want to keep pets.        

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