The above programme contained a scene on Thursday 20th October where a falconer was shown wearing a bracelet made from pigeon life rings. Obviously this incensed and upset some fanciers.
Since the programme was aired we received several phone calls and e-mails asking the RPRA (other unions have also received calls) to ‘do something about it’. So we, along with the other unions, did – the falconer has been identified and spoken to – so that the actual facts can be ascertained.
A copy of the statement from Birds of Prey Displays Ltd is below.
We have also spoken to the pigeon fancier (who is also the club secretary) from where the pigeons originated (he also said other club members gave some as well) – he confirmed that all of the pigeons were given to the falconer as food for the falcons; in his words ‘end of life old stock pigeons’.
Ben Potter of Birds of Prey Displays Limited has asked us to publish the following message:
“We would like to sincerely apologise to the entire racing pigeon community for the offence and upset caused by the wearing of the pigeon ring band on the television show The Yorkshire Vet, which was aired on Channel 5 on Tuesday 20 October. We never intended to offend anyone within the pigeon racing community and we are devastated by the issues this has caused.
“The rings on this band were sourced from end of year stock donated to us a few years ago to humanely euthanise. The rings were put on the bracelet in good humour after a pigeon fancier friend put a ‘pro bird of prey cull’ sticker on one of our cars. It was intended as nothing more than a joke between two friends. The RPRA has since confirmed this as factual.
“On the evening we were in the vets we had no idea the film crew would be there until we had walked through the door. Consequently, we had no idea of the impact this would cause and deeply regret how offensive it has been.
“Ben has been in this profession for over 18 years and has built good relations and friendships with the pigeon racing community during this time.
“While we cannot take back what has happened, we hope this gives some clarity on it. We have never and will never use our birds of prey to kill racing pigeons.
“Once again our sincerest apologies.”