Subject: Avian influenza
You will be aware that over recent years the presence of Avian Influenza within domestic birds has resulted in the movement of certain domestic birds being restricted. This could potentially have a devastating impact on Pigeon racing and showing. However, to date Defra’s risk based approach in relation to pigeons has resulted in a limited impact on pigeon racing and showing. To strengthen this position a code of practice (attached) has been developed and agreed with Defra. Please note that full compliance with the requirements of the General Licence for Bird Gatherings i.e. racing, marking, liberations, shows and multiple loft training is essential in maintaining limited restrictions. The code should supply all the information relevant to comply with the General Licence. You will note that within the code the RPRA are required to inform the APHA of all gatherings in relation to race marking. Therefore please complete and return Appendix 1 within the code of practice, listing all marking stations within your organisation by 28th February to RPRA HQ. Failure to comply with this will increase the risk of restrictions and may result in the cancellation of your race programme.