FREE ‘TOYOTA’ THE AUSTRALIAN NATIVE SULPHUR CRESTED COCKATOO
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I support the Free ‘Toyota' the Australian Native Sulphur Crested Cockatoo social media campaign and I am signing this petition to add my personal support to the public call for ‘Toyota’s’ freedom and future quality of life.
I am requesting the support of the relevant authorities to take immediate action to ensure ‘Toyota’s’ best interests are given priority, and that he is granted the opportunity to enjoy a safe, natural and enhanced quality of life.
‘Toyota’ is a native Australian Sulphur Crested Cockatoo. In the wild, these native birds can live for around 100 years of age. They are intelligent, highly social birds and have a strong need for company, and to be a part of a group or flock.
• ‘Toyota’ has reportedly been confined to a cage for 30yrs. He is denied a free and natural existence. He has no enrichment, not even a swing, inadequate perches including no naturally rounded stick to perch on and chew on as these birds do in the wild.
• ‘Toyota’ lives a lonely and frustrated life in a barren double cage on an industrial site in Murwillumbah at the local Toyota dealership. His cage is positioned in a car sales lot on the bitumen where he is subjected to loud noise, the weather and traffic fumes.
• ‘Toyota’ is denied the company of his own species. During the day ‘Toyota’ can see and hear other native birds including cockatoos flying above and nearby and must despair that he can’t join his own kind.
• Captive in his barren cage, ‘Toyota’ can't seek shelter or solitude. While a busy area, ‘Toyota’ receives very few 'human' visitors and he remains isolated and alone.
• Every afternoon, still confined in the same cage, ‘Toyota’ is wheeled into a mechanics workshop, a windowless shed, where he sits in the dark alone, until the business opens the next morning. Neighbours to the site and passers-by have reported hearing ‘Toyota’ screaming after being locked up. For extended periods on weekends and public holidays, ‘Toyota’ remains alone in this shed including throughout the extreme summer heat, next to a north facing metal roller door.
• During the March 2017 floods, ‘Toyota’ remained a captive prisoner, while rising waters surrounded the Toyota site. Imagine his fear.
• Once a year ‘Toyota’ is rolled out as a promotional 'prop' at the local Murwillumbah show. His cage is positioned on the back of a ute, without shelter, all day, to be gawked and laughed at. ‘Toyota’ has also been used as an advertising gimmick for years to promote the Toyota dealership and Toyota brand. Watch a publicly available video here.
A local media outlet published a media article referring to ‘Hayes Toyota moves with the changing times over 100 years’. It appears this reported ‘moving with the times’ does not recognise the significance of Australian native bird life, and current public expectations towards animal welfare and quality of life.
I am very concerned that a well known company like Toyota Australia would allow their brand to be associated with the cruel confinement and questionable quality of life of an Australian native bird. This is more distressing taking into account the serious biodiversity issues faced by Australian native wildlife and Australia's shameful biodiversity record.
On their website, Toyota Australia and the Toyota Community Foundation refer to one of their ‘key areas of focus’ being the environment. They refer to the “freedom of mobility”, recognition of the environment, their support for the Australian community, and claim they, “listen carefully to our stakeholders as we pursue a business that works towards harmony with people, society, and the global environment.”
Native Australian biodiversity including native birds like ‘Toyota’ are an important component of the environment. Keeping ‘Toyota’ caged and captive as an isolated prisoner in non-suitable and un-natural surroundings is no way to house or care for a majestic Australian native bird. This cannot be considered good animal welfare or an example of caring for the environment and all its inhabitants.
I believe ‘Toyota’ should be allowed to retire and live out his days in the peace, safety and tranquillity of a sanctuary which would provide a natural and suitable environment. A sanctuary would also allow ‘Toyota’ to receive experienced care, catering to his unique physical and emotional needs and where he would enjoy the company of other bird species.
Please take the required action in ‘Toyota’s’ best interests and allow him to retire to the type and quality of live he deserves.
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