Get Annie to Maleny Bird Sanctuary

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Hi Eclectus and Animal Lovers,

We need your help - or rather, an unlucky female Eclectus parrot named Annie does. We have done all we could, but it seems that we have come up against a massive bureaucratic wall and only the power of the people could get through to RSPCA.

To make the long story short, my wife and I are new to Queensland and have recently been forced to surrender our beloved Eclectus Annie to the Department of Environment and Science (DES). This was not because we mistreated Annie in any way, just due to our lack of understanding of the licensing requirements - my wife has a wildlife license, but we did not apply for a movement permit when we purchased Annie from Gumtree.

Annie was neglected - purchased as a baby and beloved until the family had a human baby and banished Annie to a small cage in the backyard. She was severely clipped (could not even glide to the floor) and fed only pellets. She was afraid of people and strawberries, and it took a long time to win her over and to teach her to eat fruit and vegetables, and later, teach her to fly (Video teaching Annie to fly). 

Our intention from the beginning was to take the bird to a dedicated bird sanctuary on the Sunshine Coast because it would be the best possible place for her to socialise with other birds and to fly in huge aviary. At the time, the sanctuary asked us to rehabilitate the bird until she learned how to fly and we did.

When we thought Annie was ready, we contacted the sanctuary again but were advised this time that we needed to apply for another permit with the DES. In the process of doing this, the DES notified us that the bird was illegal and that we had to surrender her. We have tried to negotiate with the DES a way to transfer Annie to the sanctuary without having to go through the RSPCA and potentially causing her more stress, but we were told that we have broken the law and therefore had no say in the process. We were threatened with fines and treated like criminals.

We had no choice but to give Annie up, but consoled ourselves with the thought that either the sanctuary or we could apply to adopt her - something that DES and RSPCA said we could do. We now know that was a blatant lie. The application by the sanctuary has been refused because we have been transparent with the DES and RSPCA and told them that we will advocate for the sanctuary to adopt Annie, even offering to pay the $600 adoption fee.

After the application by the sanctuary has been rejected, Annie has disappeared from the RSPCA website. We have no way of knowing if she was adopted or put to sleep, as has been the case in many widely publicised cases of where wanted and loved animals were "mistakenly" put to sleep by RSPCA.

In addition to the impact on Annie, this whole ordeal has had a devastating impact on our family. My wife and I have been under the care of our respective GPs and we even had to have counselling. We seem to have been caught up in some crazy bureaucratic 'machine' but, at the end of the day, the RSPCA has the discretion to allow the sanctuary to adopt Annie and there is absolutely no good reason in our minds or in their own policies as to why this can not happen. The reasons for the rejection do not align with their own policies, which are publicly available on their website. 

We would appreciate it you would sign this petition. We will take it to the media, the Minister and anyone else who has the ability to enable Annie to get to the sanctuary. Please send this link to your friends. Our hope is that as a result of all this pain, not only will Annie make it to the best possible home, RSPCA and DES may also look at how their policies are implemented by staff, especially in regard of the mental health of the humans involved. The more signatures we get the better the chance we can create the change. 

** PLEASE NOTE: We DO NOT want any money or donations for this initiative.

UPDATE 15.12.20 - https://9now.nine.com.au/a-current-affair/almighty-bird-battle-takes-flight-between-parrots-previous-owner-and-government-department/9efaefd0-6b3a-42a3-929e-3dc6a57237ce

UPDATE 20.12.20 - https://www.change.org/p/rspca-queensland-and-department-of-environment-science-queensland-get-annie-to-maleny-bird-sanctuary/u/28246497

Singing to Annie