Further to the info below, see the correspodence from the RPRA: -
From: RPRA <>;
Sent: 13 April 2021 16:37
To: Secretary National Flying Club:
Subject: App Party Parliamentary Group
There are a number of posts on Facebook encouraging members to contact the Chair of our All Party Parliamentary Group to request him to lobby DEFRA to reinstate the General license for Gatherings. Members motivations are very much appreciated. However, in his capacity as Chair of the Group, Craig Williams MP is already supportive of our aims and objectives and has already raised the issues associated with the EU Animal Health Laws and Avian Influenza with DEFRA. If members wish to support these aims and objectives then please contact your MP and ask them to support the APPG for Pigeons Racing; do not contact the Chair directly. In terms of Avian Influenza restrictions - Just a simple email outlining that the current suspension of the General License for Gatherings is stopping pigeon racing. The current risk level of Avian Influenza in the UK is assessed as low. Coupled with the fact that pigeons are also considered low risk in spreading the disease you respectfully request your MP to support the aims of the RPRA and APPG in achieving a position where the General license is reinstated for pigeons asap. If your MP requires further information they can contact Ian Evans RPRA CEO or the APPG Chair. They may wish to contact DEFRA directly. In terms of Channel racing and the impact of the new EU Animal Health laws you could forward the recent communication with the Directorate General Sante that can be obtained here https://www.rpra.org/euahregs-channel-racing/ along with a request for your MP to support our aims and objectives in any capacity they feel appropriate. Ian Evans CEO
Gathering the feedback from a lot of fanciers, through Facebook or telephone conversations, there is a lot of anger out there of the fact the DEFRA did not attend the meeting and the racing has been postponed as a result of it. Ian Evans from RPRA is doing a good job and we are here to support him, however we need to write to our own MPs to express our dissatisfaction with the fact that Defra has been delaying the decision. The scientific data backed up by International Veterinary Pigeon Association (www.ivpa.eu ) shows that pigeon cannot be responsible for the transmission of virus at all to other birds or even pigeons, meaning their role in epidemiology is to be neglected. Several countries like Germany and France even have decided pigeons are able to race even when there are bird flu outbreaks.
I am sure that most of you are aware on how to write to your local MP, however for those who do not know, here is How:
Find out who your local MP is by clicking here: https://members.parliament.uk/FindYourMP
- Please either use this template from Mr. M. McGrevy: https://aurelteam.files.wordpress.com/2021/04/template_no_2.doc
- Or Please use this Alternative Template that deals with Defra and the Chair Chair of Pigeon Racing APPG: https://aurelteam.files.wordpress.com/2021/04/template_no_1-1.doc
- Or simply write your own letter to your local MP in the way you feel is suitable
Defra has a responsibility towards its members to protect its communities, and lobbying our local MPs will add urgency to their actions.
All the best
Aurel Voiculescu, Section J Committee Member.