FAO Animal Production
and Health Manual
No. 166

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This report summarizes the results of a consultancy on market trade in live wild birds and related bird movements, in line with four FAO projects on Emergency Assistance for Early Detection and Prevention of Avian Influenza in 33 countries of the Caribbean, Central America, Andean and South Cone subregions. The survey aimed to assess the magnitude and dynamics of trade in wild birds, and the conditions under which local regulations are enforced. Each country participating in the projects received a survey form and instructions in its official language; statistics on international trade in wild birds were also analysed. Of the 33 countries consulted, 27 replied. The information gathered was compiled in a trade database, allowing the role of each country and region to be evaluated. Only four countries provided statistics, but it was possible to evaluate the trade volumes and dynamics of other countries using statistics from the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) trade database.

Of the 33 countries, Mexico is the main importer of wild birds originating in Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean. Argentina, Guyana and Suriname are the main exporters, followed by Peru, Uruguay, Venezuela, Nicaragua and Cuba. In the recent past, most native bird exports from these countries were exported to Europe. However, formal operations have been drastically reduced since the European Union (EU) imposed a ban on wild bird imports, resulting in closure of this important market. At present, legal trade is directed mainly to Mexico, followed by Asia and Africa. Mexico absorbs most wild bird imports from both within the region and elsewhere, and is not an active wild bird re-exporter, implying no further movements of exotic birds within the subregions covered by the survey.

The majority of countries declared taking precautionary measures by preventing the import of birds originating from countries in which avian influenza (AI) has been reported. Although most countries have animal health regulations and procedures in place, not all of them have specific guidelines for the early detection and control of AI, and not all require animal health documentation as a condition for trade. Owing to low trade volumes, many countries do not apply quarantine of imported birds, but quarantine is required in countries where sanitary measures are strict. Most countries consider that the risk of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) entry is low or medium. In spite of this, countries expressed particular concern about the consequences of illegal trade and migratory birds on the dispersal of AI.


      Executive summary

      Chapter 1

      Chapter 2

      Global trade in live birds

      Chapter 3

      Country survey forms
      CITES international trade statistics on wild birds

      Chapter 4

      Results according to countries’ roles in bird movements

      Wild bird importing countries
      Wild bird exporting countries
      Countries that breed wild birds in captivity

      Regional summary

      Central America
      South Cone

      Wild bird trade statistics for Latin America and the Caribbean (CITES)

      Wild bird imports (CITES)
      Wild bird exports (CITES)

      Chapter 5


      Instructions and survey form

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E-ISBN 978-92-5-106216-6

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