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The following is an update in relation to training and racing in Scotland, and follows the First Minister’s Statement of 16th March 2021.

Please note this publication is intended for RPRA members. 

The following content, taken from the First Ministers statement, has been taken as positive steps towards the commencement of training and racing in Scotland. However, it is subject to confirmation closer to the dates. The following are relevant quotes from the first Ministers statement  

‘We expect to lift the current stay at home rule on 2nd April’  This will be replaced by ‘stay local, in other words, not to travel outside your local authority area’   

‘ We expect that from 26th April restrictions on journeys within mainland Scotland will be lifted entirely’

‘We hope that restrictions on journeys between Scotland and other parts of the UK and the wider common travel area can also be lifted , if not on the 26th April, then as soon as possible thereafter’

‘From that date (26th April) six people from up to three households will be able to meet outdoors- and with no mainland travel restrictions in place’

Taking the above into consideration and subject to confirmation in advance of these dates, we hope that:

1. Training while adhering to the ‘stay within your local authority area’ will be permitted from 2nd April. 

2.  Training beyond your local authority area and racing will be permitted from 26th April 2021. However, until the restrictions for travel beyond Scotland and to other parts of the UK is confirmed, races may have to take place from liberation sites within Scotland.  


In addition to the Covid-19 restrictions we also have to consider the current restrictions in place due to Avian Influenza. The Code of Practice for Pigeon Racing published on the RPRA website will provide a detailed overview

A summary of the code is as follows:

From December 14th, 2020, when a housing requirement in the AIPZ comes into force in Great Britain, birds will only be allowed out for exercise for up to one hour once each day. You may train birds as a single loft but must not mix birds from other lofts. You must not have an open loft that allows the birds to freely come and go, which would increase the chance of wild birds entering your loft and contaminating it.
Part 2
Please note the General License for bird gatherings was revoked on 11 November 2020. This means that all racing, shows, training, sales, or auctions where birds are physically brought together from multiple lofts are banned until the General License is reinstated.
This means that fanciers should not enter another’s loft or premises, footwear/clothing should be clean and not worn at your own loft, and hands washed/hand sanitiser gel used.

Questions and answers

Q – Can I train my birds now?

A. – No. While the current Avian Influenza code of practice permits single loft training (multiple loft/group training is not allowed as this would be classed as a gathering) the Scottish Government’s Covid 19 restrictions relating to travel still require people to stay at home until at least 2nd April 

Q – When will I be able to train?

A – Subject to confirmation nearer the date you will be able to train while adhering to the requirement to stay within your local authority area 2nd April 2021

Q – Why can’t I train before 2nd April 2021

A – The Scottish Government’s stay at home policy will remain in force until at least 2nd April 2021 

Q – When will the General License for Bird Gatherings be re-instated ?

A – There is no real indication towards a date. The CEO is regularly attending the Stakeholder meetings arranged by the APHA and will provide an update as soon as there are any developments.

Q – Will the RPRA be producing guidance for Race Marking, Convoyers, Clock setting etc

A – Yes. This will be developed and issued as soon as possible.

Q – Is the commencement of racing from 26th April 2021 subject to the General License being reinstated?

A – Yes – without this racing cannot commence.

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