Since 2019 all rings issued by the North West Homing Union (NWHU) that are raced or shown under RPRA rules have had to be registered with the RPRA by 1st April.
This follows the decision taken by the RPRA Council that all rings issued by unions that are not members of the British Confederation should be registered. The cost of registration is 30p per ring.
The registration document below should be completed and returned to Royal Pigeon Racing Association, Unit 35-41 Upper Mills Trading Estate, Stonehouse, Gloucestershire GL10 2BJ before 1st April. Confirmation will be issued by the RPRA to the owner as evidence of registration.
Download: NWHU Ring Registration Form
The then RPRA CEO, Ian Evans, explained the background to this decision: the sport in general is coming under ever-increasing pressure from animal rights groups and those interested in Animal Welfare. The RPRA receives weekly emails from groups and individuals who would like to see an end to pigeon racing. In 2018 a well known animal rights group approached the cross channel ferry companies, requesting they stop transporting racing pigeons to France.
Therefore, we should do everything possible to ensure that pigeons raced under RPRA rules continue to benefit from the best possible animal welfare conditions – this includes the repatriation of strays. The vast majority of unions in the UK deal with the stray issue in an acceptable manner.
The RPRA has a designated team during office hours and an online ‘stray wizard’ for use at other times. Unfortunately, due to a high number of complaints received at the RPRA HQ in 2018, there were concerns in relation to the ability of the NWHU to repatriate strays in a way that 99% of fanciers would consider appropriate.
To ensure that pigeons raced under RPRA rules continue to benefit from the high standards of animal welfare, the RPRA council reluctantly took the decision to impose the requirement to register all NWHU rings raced under RPRA rules prior to the 2019 season.