The American Federation of Aviculture (AFA) is a nonprofit national organization established in 1974, whose purpose is to represent all aspects of aviculture and to educate the public about keeping and breeding birds in captivity.
AFA has a membership consisting of bird breeders, pet bird owners, avian veterinarians, pet/bird store owners, bird product manufacturers, and other people interested in the future of aviculture.
AFA defines anyone keeping exotic birds in captivity as an "aviculturist" but AFA advocates that this designation carries with it certain responsibilities transcending those of the owners of domesticated pets like dogs and cats.
AFA believes holders of exotic birds need to be aware of the special needs of the species they hold, be aware of their conservation status, up-to-date research findings enhancing the well-being of the birds, and the state and federal regulations pertaining to exotic birds.
During an outbreak of Exotic Newcastle Disease in California, in the early 1970's, thousands of perfectly healthy exotic birds in private collections were euthanized by the USDA if even one bird in the collection was suspected of being exposed to the disease. As a result of the outbreak, the State of California proposed legislation that would narrowly restrict or ban the ownership of exotic birds. This proposed legislation to restrict private ownership was the catalyst that brought many Southern California bird owners and clubs together to form the AMERICAN FEDERATION OF AVICULTURE, INC. in March of 1974 to serve as an avicultural umbrella organization.
The AFA is a non-profit 501(c)3 educational organization incorporated in the state of California, (business office located in Austin, TX) with a membership base of individual members both nationwide and worldwide. The AFA is also a federation, comprised of numerous affiliated bird clubs and organizations representing thousands of aviculturists.
The AFA is dedicated to the promotion of aviculture and the conservation of Avian Wildlife through the encouragement of captive breeding programs, scientific research and the education of the general public. To promote the interests of aviculture , the AFA works to educate legislators within the U.S.A. The AFA also represents the avicultural community at CITES meetings.