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Statement from the President and Vice Presidents

RPRA and Covid-19

Dear Members,

We hope all our members are safe and well, as we battle to overcome COVID-19. We find ourselves in a situation which we have not come across since World War 2. As a sport we have faced many challenges in recent times, i.e. PMV outbreak and Foot and Mouth, but not on the scale we face with COVID-19, which as everyone is aware is on a global scale, with World Health Organisation status of a Pandemic.

Our main priority as an organisation is to protect our vulnerable members, as well as complying with government guidelines and legislation. As a direct result of this, the RPRA has suspended all racing until at least 23rd May 2020. This is a huge disappointment to us all, as it has come at a time when the racing season should be set to go. The guidance around non-essential travel is also stopping fanciers training their pigeons – again something that is a disappointment, but again unavoidable as we all observe the guidance to protect the vulnerable. We say it’s a disappointment to us all, as we as President and Vice Presidents also wish to race our pigeons, so we do know how the fancy is feeling at present.

We would like the fancy to know that these are unprecedented times, and it is very hard to predict what the future is going to be. The team are working very hard behind the scenes to put the interests of the members first. If and when racing is allowed, we want to be in a position to hit the ground running as to not delay racing any more than is needed, but this takes a lot of hard work, and I would like to assure you that Ian Evans (CEO) and his staff – in the face of very difficult times – are working tirelessly to keep the sport moving. Plans for guidance on marking and social gatherings are being drawn up, but this is a very difficult job due to the uncertainty of what will happen with government guidance and at what timescale.

These are very trying times for all, but we wish for our members to know we have your interests at the forefront of our minds and will work with government advice and guidelines to ensure racing in 2020 if at all possible. Pigeon fanciers throughout the world are facing the same challenges, and we have to stick together as we face uncertainties for sure. We will keep the membership up to date with where we are in terms of restrictions, but we ask that you are patient at this time. Our main priority as an organisation and as a nation is to protect our vulnerable from this dreaded virus. We are in this together, and we ask all our members to stay safe and observe government advice.

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