Australian authorities may kill a U.S. sport pigeon that crossed the Pacific Ocean because of a quarantine threat. The Associated Press reported Thursday, Jan. 14.
The emaciated pigeon was found on his property on December 26 by Kevin Selly-Bird, a resident of a Melbourne suburb. It later emerged that the bird had gone missing from a pigeon race in the United States on Oct. 29.
According to experts, the pigeon, which the finder named Joe after U.S. President-elect Joe Biden, could have arrived in Australia on a cargo ship, covering a distance of 13,000 kilometers.
The story of the bird’s journey soon appeared on the pages of the Australian media, and the pigeon was also of interest to the Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service. Soon Celli-Berd received a call from the agency asking if they could catch the bird.
“They said that if the pigeon came from America, they had concerns about diseases the birds might carry,” the Australian said.
The man responded that Joe does not let a human get close. The quarantine inspectorate is therefore considering a contract with a professional bird catcher.
The Department of Agriculture said the pigeon cannot remain in Australia because it could endanger Australian food security and local wild bird populations.
In late October, it became known that birds and mammals carry up to 850,000 viruses that could potentially take the form of pandemics.