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Requirements for Bird Gatherings

Notice to Club Secretaries

This is a reminder for all club and federation secretaries that during the racing season APHA must be informed of the intention to bring together multiple lofts for the purpose of pigeon racing, and this would include marking for a weekly race. Although it is called a general licence, no actual licence is issued – they just require to be informed, but please be aware that no gatherings will be allowed in a Surveillance Zone or Protection Zone.

In England this can be done by calling the Defra Rural Services Helpline on 03000 200 301 choosing the relevant options for APHA at least 7 days before a bird gathering. If in Scotland please call 0300 0600 709 and Wales 0300 303 8268. For Northern Ireland please contact DAERA at least three days before the first race.

The following are examples of gatherings:

  • pigeons brought together, including vehicles or crates, for pigeon racing;
  • bird fairs, markets, shows, sales, or exhibitions.

You will need to provide the following information:

  • date (or range of dates) of the gatherings;
  • location of gathering (full postal address and postcode);
  • types and numbers of birds expected;
  • purpose of the gathering (for example, show, sale or racing);
  • your name, address and contact phone number, and an email address and mobile number.

APHA will notify the local authority about the gathering on your behalf.

You must keep records of bird gatherings for at least 3 months after each event, including:

  • name, address, and contact number of anyone moving birds to and from the gathering;
  • types and numbers of birds exhibited, raced, transported, bought or sold at the gathering.

APHA or the local authority may ask you for this information. Consult the general licence available on the Defra website for definitive requirements on taking and retaining records of bird gathering, which we do anyway with each members race entry sheet.

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