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Bird Flu – Advice on Shows and Exercising Birds

Given the increasing level of Avian Influenza restrictions present in the UK, we wish to provide some clarity in relation to pigeon shows and exercising pigeons. Please note, this information is accurate as of 25th November 2021. Please continue to visit the RPRA website or social media for updates.

Q. I/we are planning to hold a show. What are the requirements?

Please refer to the Avian Influenza Code of Practice.

Q. The show venue is situated within a 3km protection/10km surveillance zone around an outbreak?

Gatherings, (including shows, racing, multi loft training, multi loft sales) cannot take place within these zones .

Q. Can lofts situated within the 3km protection/10km surveillance zone take part in a show?

No, they cannot take part in any gathering.

Q. Can I exercise my pigeons within a 3km protection/10km surveillance zone around an outbreak?

Yes, while adhering to the strict guidelines/requirements below. 

Q. Can I exercise my pigeons during the housing measures effective from 29th November 2021?

Yes, while adhering to the strict guidelines/requirements below. 

Birds – including pigeons – must be housed, or where not possible kept in a fully netted ideally covered area which keeps kept birds separate from wild birds and minimises contact with wild bird faeces, feathers etc. However, in recognition of their welfare requirements, pigeons can be let out briefly each day for exercise, provided pigeon keepers act responsibly. For example, this could be for a brief period before feeding, say half an hour, which will ensure the return of the birds promptly when the feed goes out, at which point they should be shut in again. Lofts should not be left open for several hours for the birds to come and go as they please.  Where pigeon owners are not acting responsibly, a firmer line may need to be taken, which will result in the birds being kept in full time.

Guidance for all bird keepers on biosecurity and preventing welfare impacts in poultry and captive birds including information on the measures keepers can take to separate their birds from wild birds is available on the GOV.UK website.

 

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