PetSmart stops selling birds

PetSmart stops selling birds

A popular pet chain has temporarily stopped selling cockatiels and other birds.

The company claims the birds have been exposed or infected with disease.

The birds are sold at PetSmart.

The chain says a small number of birds tested positive for a bacterial infection and they're warning customers to be aware.

In a letter sent to customers from PetSmart, the company warns that random tests of pet birds in their stores may have tested positive for being exposed or infected with psittacosis, an infection caused by bacteria that can be carried by birds--mainly cockatiels -- that causes infection in humans similar to a cold or flu.

Huntsville Veterinarian Dr. Bill Renfroe says psittacosis can be easily spread.

"From dust feathers produce and fecal material. So feces in the cage not cleaned daily you will get more susceptible to pick up disease."

As a precaution, PetSmart voluntarily and temporarily suspended sales of birds at all their stores supplied by a particular vendor while the birds are treated and encourages anyone who purchased a cockatiel or other type bird to be aware of the disease.

If you bought a bird from PetSmart on or after October 3, 2007, they're set up a toll-free phone number for you to call for more information. That number is 1-800-738-7385 extension 2518.