Petition Launched To Save Joe The Racing Pigeon That Flew 13,000kms From US To Australia
Fans of Joe the racing pigeon are jumping to action after it was revealed the feathered battler would be put down due to Australia's strict quarantine rules.
The stoic bird made his way across the Pacific Ocean from the US to Australia, a journey that's roughly 13,000 kilometres.
Kevin Celli-Bird discovered the exhausted bird in his backyard on Boxing Day, two months after it disappeared from a race in the US state of Oregon.
According to experts, the pigeon, which Kevin named Joe after the US President-elect, probably hitched a ride on a cargo ship.
However, it looked like Joe's impressive feat could have all been in vain, with Australian authorities concerned about potential disease being spread.
The Agriculture Department, which is responsible for biosecurity, said the pigeon was 'not permitted to remain in Australia' because it 'could compromise Australia's food security and our wild bird populations'.
"It poses a direct biosecurity risk to Australian birdlife and our poultry industry," they said.
The news has shocked many, who are now desperately campaigning for authorities to spare his life and let him live in quarantine or be allowed to return home.
The Australian Government should not be in the business of condemning pigeons to death.
- Mehreen Faruqi (@MehreenFaruqi) January 14, 2021
A petition on Change.org has been created, with 165 people signing it to urge officials not to kill the little pigeon that could.
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After quoting The Agriculture Department's statement, the petition creator, Ali Hajeyah, said: "I am sure I am not the only one who thinks this is ridiculous.
"Joe 'The Legend' Pigeon deserves better. This is a petition to stop the Australian Government from killing Joe, but instead sending him back to Alabama, USA, to reunite him with his keeper."
The man who discovered Joe, Kevin Celli-Bird, was just as shocked as everyone when he found out the bird was from America.
"It rocked up at our place on Boxing Day. I've got a fountain in the backyard and it was having a drink and a wash," he said. "He was pretty emaciated so I crushed up a dry biscuit and left it out there for him.
"Next day, he rocked back up at our water feature, so I wandered out to have a look at him because he was fairly weak and he didn't seem that afraid of me and I saw he had a blue band on his leg.
"Obviously he belongs to someone, so I managed to catch him."
Kevin has been asked by authorities to catch him again and hand him over, but the Melbourne bloke says now that Joe has regained his strength he can't get his hands on him.
"They wanted to know if I could help them out. I said, 'To be honest, I can't catch it. I can get within 500 mil [millimeters or 20 inches] of it and then it moves'."
Featured Image Credit: PA
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