France is pushing restrictions in the EU, which could lead to the abolition of a 125-year-old sport in the UK.
NEW EU regulations prohibiting British pigeons from competing in well-known European races are a massive “overkill,” according to an expert, who blamed France for “imposing rules.”
When the UK exited the Brexit transition period and the EU’s Single Market and Customs Union on December 31, pigeon racing fans in the UK lost their right to free movement. Transportation and obtaining the appropriate health certifications have become practically impossible for British pigeon racing aficionados since the introduction of the new strict requirements, which came into effect after a short transition period.
Pigeons cannot be transported to France without various health certificates and a 21-day quarantine, according to the rules.
“I believe the EU is overkilling in terms of the risk associated with racing pigeons,” Ian Evans, CEO of the Royal Pigeon Association, told This website.
“Previous EU legislation actually exempted such activities from any animal health requirements when transporting animals from another nation to the EU, because they recognized that the risk of disease transmission is almost impossible.”
Every UK racing pigeon gets vaccinated against Newcastle disease every year, according to Mr Evans, and the likelihood of influenza spreading among the birds is low.
He believes that the EU requires a lot of “unnecessary paperwork” that prevents him from racing on the continent.
The Royal Pigeon Association has inquired as to why the regulations exist, but has yet to get a response.
“I’m not sure why the regulations exist,” Mr Evans remarked.
“On April 21st of this year, the EU enacted those new regulations.
“The pigeons were excluded from any health standards under previous regulations.”
“We were able to get a type of transitional period of six months,” he said, “but within that transitional period, member states were free to apply their own national regulations, and the French are imposing restrictions that are far too stringent.”
According to The Royal Pigeon Racing Association, pigeon racing has been a sport for roughly 125 years, and many people are quite passionate about it.
According to Mr Evans, the laws have had a “detrimental” effect on pigeon fanciers.
“For no legitimate reason, this kind of historic action has been taken away from them,” he said. It has the potential to be a game-changing event for our sport.
“Unless we can obtain some.”