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Testing New Bird

Expert Question

If I want to bring another parrot into my home (where I already have two parrots), is there really any risk of that bird having chlamydia/psittacosis if it has been bred in the UK?

Expert Answer

Thanks for this excellent question, Helen.  The incidence of contagious disease, including psittacosis, has decreased since the importation of wild-caught birds has become illegal.  However, this has not eliminated contagious disease, even in the captive-bred parrot population.  I do recommend testing and quarantine of all new birds before their introduction into the flock. Your best source of information is your own qualified avian veterinarian.  A local veterinarian would know best about the prevalence of disease and recommended testing procedures for your specific area.

Ellen K. Cook, DVM
About Ellen K. Cook, DVM

Dr. Ellen K. Cook has been practicing small animal medicine since 1975. In 1998, she rescued Merlin, a six-year-old Moluccan cockatoo with many undesirable behaviours, and soon began focusing primarily on avian veterinary medicine and behavioral issues.

Dr. Cook is a member of the Association of Avian Veterinarians, the International Association of Trainers and Educators, the Animal Behavior Management Alliance, and the American Veterinary Society of Animal Behaviorists.

She has published numerous articles over the years on avian veterinary and behavioural care, and serves as on online consultant for the World Parrot Trust. Dr. Cook has been teaching basic behavior classes to parrots and their caregivers since 2009, and is the founder of Parrots Anonymous, an organization dedicated to educating those who live with companion parrots.

To book a consultation with Dr. Cook, visit the Cicero Veterinary Clinic at