New York Daily News

Pigeon deemed 'biosecurity risk' to be killed after traveling 8K miles from Oregon to Australia

New York Daily News logo New York Daily News 14/01/2021 19:26:20 Jami Ganz

This is sure to ruffle some feathers.

Joe the racing pigeon, named for President-elect Joe Biden, has reached the end of his lengthy journey: an 8,000-mile trek from Oregon to a backyard in Officer, Australia, about 33 miles southeast of Melbourne, The Associated Press reported.

The bird, who disappeared in late October from a race in the Beaver State and arrived Down Under on Dec. 26, has been dubbed a quarantine risk by the Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service. As a result, authorities intend to kill the bird.

"It poses a direct biosecurity risk to Australian bird life and our poultry industry," read a statement from the Agriculture Department, which handles biosecurity.

a pigeon standing on a bed: A racing pigeon sits on a rooftop Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2021, in Melbourne, Australia, The racing pigeon, first spotted in late Dec. 2020, appears to have made an extraordinary 13,000-kilometer (8,000-mile) Pacific Ocean crossing from the United States to Australia. Experts suspect the pigeon named Joe, after the U.S. president-elect, hitched a ride on a cargo ship to cross the Pacific. © Kevin Celli-BirdA racing pigeon sits on a rooftop Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2021, in Melbourne, Australia, The racing pigeon, first spotted in late Dec. 2020, appears to have made an extraordinary 13,000-kilometer (8,000-mile) Pacific Ocean crossing from the United States to Australia. Experts suspect the pigeon named Joe, after the U.S. president-elect, hitched a ride on a cargo ship to cross the Pacific.

A racing pigeon sits on a rooftop Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2021, in Melbourne, Australia, The racing pigeon, first spotted in late Dec. 2020, appears to have made an extraordinary 13,000-kilometer (8,000-mile) Pacific Ocean crossing from the United States to Australia. Experts suspect the pigeon named Joe, after the U.S. president-elect, hitched a ride on a cargo ship to cross the Pacific. (Kevin Celli-Bird/)

Noting Joe, who experts believes traveled so far with the help of a cargo ship crossing the Pacific Ocean, "could compromise Australia's food security and our wild bird populations," the department said the bird is "not permitted to remain in Australia."

The backyard Joe arrived in belongs to Kevin Celli-Bird - who, despite his surname and feeding the then-emaciated-looking pigeon, has no interest in the flying creatures.

Celli-Bird told quarantine authorities asking him to catch Joe that he "can get within 500 mil (millimeters or 20 inches) of" the now stronger bird, who always moves away.

"They say if it is from America, then they're concerned about bird diseases," he told the AP.

Celli-Bird noted the American Racing Pigeon Union confirmed to him that Joe is registered to an Alabama-based owner, who he's so far been unable to reach.

Quarantine authorities are now thinking of enlisting the help of a professional bird catcher.

"While it sounds harsh to the normal person - they'd hear that and go: 'this is cruel,' and everything else - I'd think you'd find that A.Q.I.S. and those sort of people would give their wholehearted support" to put down the bird, said Australian National Pigeon Association secretary Brad Turner, pointing to fears U.S.-based pigeons could carry exotic diseases.

With News Wire Services

14. tammikuuta 2021 21:26:20 Categories: New York Daily News

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