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Deny permission for a pop up owl bar.

A company headed by Seb Lyall has organised a pop up owl cocktail bar in an undisclosed, London location, called Annie the Owl. We are petitioning for the event not to happen as we believe it to be cruel and cause considerable amount of stress to the birds involved.

Owls are incredibly secretive and sensitive birds, with exceptional hearing, I know this having worked with them in reputable Falconry centres and conservation charities. Subjecting them to large crowds and noise is not what is best for their welfare.

Owls are amazing and incredible creatures. Many people would love the chance to get up close and personal with these exceptional birds of prey, and there are many many places around the country where people can do just that; have an owl experience day, in a safe environment where the birds are protected and cared for and not put under any stress. 

Many experienced falconers, owl lovers and raptor experts have major concerns about this pop up cocktail bar where it appears alcohol, the general public and birds of prey will be mixing. Even though these birds are captive bred for their work with the general public, to put them into this environment is a disaster waiting to happen.

It is one thing to raise awareness of owls and the help that they might need to thrive in the wild, but it is quite another to tether them up in a cocktail bar and have people touching them and handling them.

Most experienced and professional falconers and raptor experts will tell you that touching owls can not only interfere with the natural oils in their feathers that keep them warm and dry, but can also cause much stress. A stressed out owl could cause any number of problems, not least of which would be footing, with some of the larger owls at the bar, this could be the equivalent to the jaws of a small dog biting you.  

Owls have incredibly sensitive hearing, the noise of a cocktail bar, and members of the public could cause a considerable amount of stress to the birds. 

This from our latest update. 


Five owls working for 6 hours over 7 nights for public entertainment and money making is downright unfair and cruel, if that’s the way to spread a message of conservation, I’d rather not have it spread. 50 people over 2 hours touching these owls, looking at them, talking around them (however quietly), music playing (however quietly); and then after those 2 hours are up, they get to do it all again, with another 50 people. THEN after those 2 hours, guess what....another 2 hours of touching and looking and noise. Then same again FOR 7 NIGHTS!! That anyone could possibly be justifying this makes me incredulous. If you love owls and are keen to see some, please go and see them in a reputable centre, where they are as close to their natural environment as possible, well cared for, unstressed and you will GENUINELY be helping with conservation. 

This is not a REPUTABLE event

The following is from the Animal Welfare Act 2007:

Duty of person responsible for animal to ensure welfare

  A person commits an offence if he does not take such steps as are reasonable in all the circumstances to ensure that the needs of an animal for which he is responsible are met to the extent required by good practice.

  For the purposes of this Act, an animal’s needs shall be taken to include its—
(a)need for a suitable environment
(b)need for a suitable diet
(c)need to be able to exhibit normal behaviour patterns
(d)any need it has to be housed with, or apart from, other animals, and
(e)need to be protected from pain, suffering, injury and disease.

According to guidance from the Hawk Board on working with captive birds of prey, they say this. 

"Any bird or birds that are being used for shows, events, village fetes, on market stalls, or fund raising events away from their home environment should have temporary housing put up for them....Birds of prey on display should have water with them at all times....They must not be exposed to the risk of uninformed humans getting too close or touching them....Small birds of prey can become seriously distressed if tethered in close proximity to larger birds of prey or other potential predators...It should be remembered that the Hawk Board recommends that small owls should not be tethered, and certainly should not be tethered in sight of large owls,eagles, hawks or large falcons, all of which would predate on them in the wild." 

"If handling by the public is allowed then they should have rest periods and not be exposed to over-handling by inexperienced individuals. Generally excessive touching and stroking is stressful to birds of prey and should be discouraged." 

Unnecessary suffering
1. A person commits an offence if—
(a) an act of s/his, or a failure of s/his to act, causes an animal to suffer,
(b) s/he knew, or ought reasonably to have known, that the act, or failure to
act, would have that effect or be likely to do so,
(c) the animal is a protected animal, and
(d) the suffering is unnecessary.

There is a strong case that an owl bar would cause unnecessary suffering to the birds. If the general public would like to experience owls, then there are plenty of places where this is possible with the safety of all concerned of utmost importance. 

This petition was delivered to:
  • Organiser of Annie the Owl bar
    Seb Lyall


    Sarah Stafford started this petition with a single signature, and now has 30,284 supporters. Start a petition today to change something you care about.