Ownership of horses and birds is down, AVMA study finds

01/25/2013 | Chicago Tribune (tiered subscription model)

In addition to tracking dog and cat care and ownership, the American Veterinary Medical Association's U.S. Pet Ownership and Demographics Sourcebook sheds light on other species. Ownership of birds fell 20.5% from 2006 to 2011, while horse ownership fell 33% over the same period. The report also documents declines in ownership of rabbits and fish. AVMA President Dr. Douglas Aspros said the reasons for the declines aren't entirely clear, but the economy is likely part of the equation. "Owning, feeding, housing and caring for horses is costly," Aspros noted. He also said that birds are not as readily available as they used to be. However, the issue is likely more complex than simple economics, Aspros said: "There are several surveys which indicate people are willing to spend, arguably more than ever, on their pets."

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