Wednesday 22 September 2021

Bird traders face fine, jail for dyeing parrots different colours

A yellow-headed Amazon. Photo: Lizzy Foulkes via Wikimedia Commons

A father and son from Zaandam accused of fraudulently exporting parrots by dyeing their feathers and beaks different colours and falsifying paperwork are facing a €7,500 fine and a year in prison respectively, broadcaster NOS reports.

The public prosecutor said the pair, who trade in exotic birds, had been flaunting export rules for years, particularly when it came to health tests and certificates. The paperwork is necessary, officials say, to protect countries against bird flu, virulent Newcastle disease and psittacosis, which can also affect people.

The son also stands accused of dyeing certain parrot species different colours in order to export them to countries which restrict the import of some parrots but not of others.

Apart from dyeing the animals’ feathers he also dyed the beaks of 28 yellow headed Amazons so they would look like a yellow-crowned Amazon which are subject to less stringent import rules.

In 2015 and 2016 the son was caught at Schiphol trying to ship a consignment of painted birds to Taiwan, many of which dead or dying.

Complaints about fraudulent dealings by the two have been accumulating since 2008, NOS said.

Thank you for donating to

The team would like to thank all the generous readers who have made a donation in recent weeks. Your financial support has helped us to expand our coverage of the coronavirus crisis into the evenings and weekends and make sure you are kept up to date with the latest developments. has been free for 14 years, but without the financial backing of our readers, we would not be able to provide you with fair and accurate news and features about all things Dutch. Your contributions make this possible.

If you have not yet made a donation, but would like to, you can do so via Ideal, credit card or Paypal.