Pigeon racing ban lifted
The ban on pigeon racing, originally imposed in
October 2005 following a veterinary risk assessment of the likelihood of H5N1
avian influenza transmission, was lifted this month.
Since January 2007, confirmed outbreaks have occurred in poultry in Hungary
, the United Kingdom
. Apart from a case in Cellardyke, Scotland where highly
pathogenic avian influenza H5N1 virus
was isolated from a dead wild
Whooper swan sampled on March 31, 2006, there have been no confirmed isolations
of this virus in wild birds.
International pigeon racing will be permitted from France, the Channel
Islands, Spain, Belgium, Luxembourg and Germany. The end of the higher risk
autumn migration and over-wintering period, coupled with the absence of evidence
of disease in wild birds in Europe, has led to a revised veterinary risk
assessment which has informed the decision to lift the pigeon racing ban.
Racing pigeons have been clocked at over 100 miles per hour for distances
of more than 100 miles. Pigeon racing from Western Europe will still be subject
to the existing conditions on domestic races of notifying in advance, record
keeping and biosecurity.
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