Macaw as pet

Macaw as pet: You can have a macaw as a pet as long as you meet the legal requirements. It should be noted that this species requires complex care.

Having a macaw as pet is possible, provided that all the papers are in order. However, housing one of these exotic birds at home involves many factors to consider beyond obtaining it legally, as they are complex animals both psychologically and in terms of care.

If you want to share your life with one of these wonderful parrots, you must be sure that you can meet all of its needs. Here you will find valuable information on the subject, so take note of it.

Is it illegal to have a macaw as a pet?

The first thing you need to consider is whether you are committing a crime by acquiring a macaw. Almost all species of psittacines, including several of the genus Aracan only be acquired from certified breeders.

The sale of these species is regulated by the CITES agreement, which divides the species into 3 appendices according to the importance of their conservation. Concretely, if the species of macaw you wish to acquire is listed in Appendix I, its possession, and trade will be prohibited except in rare exceptions.

What legal steps need to be taken?

Possession of CITES I-listed species without a valid certificate is punishable by fines and even imprisonment. Also, consider the following points:

  • The macaw must be identified. That is to say, it must carry a solderless identification ring or a microchip, this second option being better. This must be accompanied by the papers specific to each specimen, which must be provided by the breeder.
  • An import permit is required if the animal is being transported from a country other than your own. You have to make the request more or less a month before the purchase so that everything is in order when the animal passes through customs.
  • A permit for birds captured in their environment is required. Indeed, to remove macaws from their habitat for commercial purposes, the supplier must have valid capture and export permits. All this documentation must be available to you.

Macaw care


Once you’ve made sure that it’s legal to have a macaw as a pet in your country, you need to determine if you can care for it at all levels. Find out below the requirements of macaws in captivity.

Economic investment

Parrots assume an almost constant expenditure of money. The expenses incurred by a macaw are always high. Keep in mind that you need to provide it with the diet that it would follow in its place of origin, which is the rainforests of South America.

In addition, it is essential not to skip periodic check-ups at the veterinarian, since birds tend to hide the symptoms of the disease until an advanced stage. Veterinary treatments are generally long and expensive.

Investment of time

A macaw has a very long life expectancy: it can live up to 70 years. Is your life stable enough that you can have him by your side all the time? Also, if you leave this world before your bird, will anyone be able to take care of it?

In addition, on a daily basis, parrots require a lot of time from their masters. They are parrots as intelligent as a 7-year-old child and form stable pairs, which is why they are prone to emotional dependence. For these reasons, they cannot be left alone all day.

Space Investment

Being large birds, macaws need a cage large enough to spend time indoors without stress. In addition, you will have to adapt your house in such a way as to ensure their safety, since they cannot be locked up all day. Your house must therefore be of adequate size for your bird to develop comfortably.

emotional investment

This aspect is not usually talked about much, but it is just as important as the others. It is a complex bird, both at the level of basic care and in its education and emotional management. Although it is an endless source of good times, a macaw is also excellent training for developing patience.

This bird is capable of doing great damage with its beak. Until he learns not to express his anger by pecking, you’ll have to put up with it without appearing to hurt yourself. Also, you need to teach him that he should only smash the things that are meant for him and a long etcetera.

You will also need to get used to the high volume of his cries, as this is how a parrot communicates.

Is it ethical to have a macaw as a pet?

macaw scarlet

Of course, you should never capture an animal from its environment and force it to live in a house with a human. However, when specimens are bred for it, the line between ethical and immoral is blurred.

Beyond the legality of the papers, keep in mind that this animal has not undergone any process of domestication. That’s not to say a macaw can’t be happy in your company, but it probably would be happier in its natural environment.

Scarlet macaw as a pet

SOURCE: African Grey Parrot Pet

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