It’s welcome news that sanity has been restored among the burghers of Plymouth city council, and the ban on a pensioner to stop him from taking his pet owls for a walk, lifted after a public outcry. The ban was nothing more nor less than a flagrant denial of a Briton’s inalienable right to give his animals some bracing exercise, be they furred, feathered or scaled. It’s not as if the walking of pet birds is without precedent. Many years ago, I began to receive reports to my radio programme from Solihull, a salubrious suburb of Birmingham, of a man who took his budgie for a daily constitutional around the Robin Hood Roundabout. There he would stand, letting his little feathered friend breathe in the health-giving fumes. Further reports told me that the Man with the Budgie had been perambulating with his caged friend for years, but never on cold, wet days. They told me that the budgie would sing and hop about merrily, giving the lie to the cynical, who claimed it was stuffed…

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