Fake US leg band gets pigeon a reprieve in Australia
CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — A pigeon that Australia declared a biosecurity risk has received a reprieve after a U.S. bird organization declared its identifying leg band is fake.
The band suggested the bird found in a Melbourne backyard is a racing pigeon that had left Oregon, 8,000 miles away, two months earlier.
Officials feared the U.S. bird could be a disease risk for Australian species and planned to kill it. But an official at the American Racing Pigeon Union says the leg band number belongs to a blue bar pigeon in the U.S. and not the bird in Australia.
Australia’s Agriculture Department agreed that the pigeon has a “fraudulent copy” leg band and is “highly likely” Australian.