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Channel Racing post-Brexit

The impact of Brexit on channel racing has been a concern for pigeon fanciers all around the UK. The required health documentation and processes relating to the import and export of the avian species, published since Brexit, has increased these concerns.

The relevant EU regulation that covers the transportation of the avian species from third countries (countries from outside of the EU) into a European Union member state is 2013/139.

The following has been extracted from the regulation:

“This Regulation shall apply to animals of the avian species.
However, it shall not apply to:
(f) racing pigeons which are introduced to the territory of the Union from a neighbouring third country where they are normally resident and then immediately released with the expectation that they will fly back to that third country.”

Nevertheless, I considered it prudent to seek confirmation from the relevant authority than no additional health documentation is required. I am pleased to communicate that I have received confirmation from the Centre for International Trade (via the APHA) that pigeons transported to an EU state are exempt from the requirements that have caused so much concern.

The reply is quoted below:

“Your understanding is correct; effectively there is no change to the requirements. Retained EU Regulation 139/2013 [1] does exclude racing pigeons in the scope in Article 2, and no additional documentation would be required.  There is just a change to our country status from a member state to ‘neighbouring third country’.”

I am sure members will be pleased to read this confirmation.

Please note that this relates to the transportation of pigeons for racing purposes, and not the permanent import of pigeons from the EU. In this respect I am still seeking further clarification and will update members as soon as I am in receipt of such information.

In addition to the above I am also aware of information circulating relating to vehicle emissions. I have seen social media posts that suggest there is a blanket ban on vehicles that don’t meet certain emission requirements travelling in France. This is not true. However, there are currently a limited amount of low emission zones with certain restrictions; we will publish information shortly outlining where these emission zones exist.

Ian Evans

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