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Training and Racing in Wales – UPDATED

Single loft training will be permitted in Wales from 27th March 2021.

This follows the Welsh Government’s confirmation that the ‘Stay Local’ rule will be lifted to allow unrestricted travel within Wales from 27th March.

However, please note that England still has restricted travel and therefore you cannot travel into England from Wales for the purpose of training.

Multiple loft training (more than one loft) is NOT permitted, and will remain prohibited until the General License for Bird Gatherings is reinstated . For the latest updates in relation to the General License for Gatherings please refer to the following links:

Bird Flu Update

Avian Influenza – Code of Practice for Pigeon Racing

 

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Update 15/03/21: The following is an update in relation to training and racing in Wales. Last week’s announcement by the the First Minister provided further indications as to when training and racing will hopefully be able to commence.

The following content from the First Minister’s announcement has been taken as positive steps towards the commencement of racing in Wales.

From 13th March outdoor sport such as golf will be permitted.  However there will be a requirement for people to stay local and therefore not travel more than 5 mile.

The stay local requirement will end on 27th March with self contained tourism opening, suggesting that staying away from home overnight will be permitted. 

Taking the above into consideration, along with restrictions that will remain in place in England (please refer to our previous publication) and subject to confirmation in advance of these dates, we hope that: 

1.  Training within Wales would be permitted from 27th March 2021. 

2. At the earliest, racing from English race points will commence from 12th April 2021 with race marking etc taking place outside.  

In preparation for the commencement of racing under these restrictions we will develop and issue guidance similar to that used in 2020.

However

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  https://www.rpra.org/avian-influenza-code-practice-pigeon-racing/

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
BIRD GATHERINGS – GENERAL LICENCE
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 Welsh Governments Covid 19 restrictions relating to travel still require people to stay local. 

Q – When will I be able to train?

A – Subject to confirmation nearer the date you will be able to train from 27th March 2021

Q – Why can’t I train before 27th March 2021?

A – The Welsh Government’s stay local policy will remain in force until at least 27th March 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 12th April 2021 subject to the General License being reinstated?

A – Yes – without this racing cannot commence

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