LATEST NEWS

Read the latest Club News below

NEWS - WEBSITE 

12.11.19: Our Website Is Now Live!

NEWS - MESSAC 2020

12.11.19: Thames National Messac 2020 Open Race Provisional Race Date - Wednesday 9th September 2020 (Marking on Monday 7th) 

NEWS - 2020 GOLD RINGS

04.12.19: Gold Rings Have Arrived! If you have already pre-ordered & paid, these will be posted to you in the next few days.

NEWS - MOOT

22.12.19: Roger Lowe & Mark Bulled have kindly donated a YB for auction at our Moot on Saturday 29th February. Come along and listen to some of the best fanciers answer your questions. Twin rooms currently available for £62 including all you can eat breakfast for 2, that's £31 per person + £10 for your ticket which includes fish & chips.

NEWS - UNIKON RINGS

06.01.20: Happy New Year Everyone.
Later this month, I will be ordering our allowance of 1000x Unikon Rings for 2020, they will be charged at £1.36 per ring, please let me know if you require any, they are on a first come first served basis. 

NEWS - 3 NEW MARK STATIONS

10.01.20: We are growing! 3 new marking stations have recently been granted; Hadleigh, Dagenham & Hutton. 
Their details can be found under 'members'. 

NEWS - SUPER 6

13.01.20: A big thanks to an anonymous sponsor, Super 6 has an EXTRA £1,000 Prize Money for 2020 and now operates a points system & leader board. Head to 'Racing' to read more.  

NEWS - RACE PROGRAMME

04.02.20: The Lib Site Bedhampton is no longer available. As stated on the race programme we will be going to the alternative lib sites where Bedhampton was mentioned. The updated race programme can be found on the 'racing' page. 

NEWS - ONLINE AUCTION

24.02.20: Our Thames National Messac Auction is live and ends on Sunday 1st March 2020 - www.pigeon-chat.co.uk/auctions/ some fantastic lots up for auction.

NEWS - RACE PROGRAMME

27.02.20: Races 9 & 10 have changed to Honiton as Purbeck was unavailable. 

NEWS - NEW MARK STATION 

27.02.20: Another new marking station has been granted; Rayleigh. Their details can be found under 'members'. That makes 12 M/S & 163 members.

NEWS - 2020 GOLD RINGS

7.02.20: 2020 Gold Ring Prize Money is GUARANTEED to pay out £5,000!

NEWS - CANCELLED EVENTS

19.03.20: Unfortunately the Rickmansworth & Tilbury Futurity Sales have been cancelled due to the Coronavirus, we hope to provide an alternative suggestion later this week. Our Presentation Evening has also been cancelled. The RPRA have suspended racing until 25th April 2020. Please stay safe & healthy. 

NEWS - B/B NOM RING NO'S

07.04.20: £100 Nominated ring numbers into Thames Breeder Buyer Sale - deadline is 12.04.20. £9,500 already in prize fund. 

NEWS - VIRTUAL RACING

15.04.2020: Starting on 18th April, Thames will be participating in the virtual pigeon racing with the RPRA. Good Luck all.

NEWS - VIRTUAL RACE 1 WINNER

21.04.2020: Virtual Race 1 Winner is Packer & Clarke Loft 2, Velocity 1246 ypm. The winners were decided by the nearest velocity to that nominally chosen by RPRA CEO Ian Evans of 1242 ypm. 

NEWS - 4x VIRTUAL RACES SUPPORTING OUR NHS

23.04.2020: We have already raised £634! Anyone can enter into our virtual races & ALL money will be donated to our NHS. £2 birdage fee & a YB prize for each race. Click on virtual racing to read more.

NEWS - VIRTUAL RACE 2 WINNERS

25.04.2020: Virtual Race 2 Winners are 79th A. Gadsdon&Son 1433ypm and 80th L&K Buddle 1425ypm. The winners were decided by the nearest velocity to that nominally chosen by RPRA CEO Ian Evans of 1429 ypm. As it was a dead heat, John Gladwin who donated the YB said they could both win a YB each. 

NEWS - NHS TOTAL TO DATE

01.05.20: Virtual Racing Total raised for the NHS so far £1,072!

NEWS - VIRTUAL RACE 3 WINNER 

02.05.2020: Virtual Race 3 Winner is 49th M. Smith 1516 ypm. The winner was decided by the nearest velocity to that nominally chosen by RPRA CEO Ian Evans of 1517 ypm. Total now at £1,216! Thank you everyone. 

NEWS - VIRTUAL RACE 4 WINNER

09.05.2020: Virtual Race 4 Winner is 112th Peter Lingham 1389 ypm. The winner was decided by the nearest velocity to that nominally chosen by RPRA CEO Ian Evans of 1390 ypm. Total now at £1,404! Thank you everyone. 

NEWS - RPRA UPDATE

12.05.2020: Training is allowed from 13.05.2020 but there is no exact start date for racing yet. It has been confirmed that when racing begins, racing in France will also be allowed.    

NEWS - VIRTUAL RACE 5 WINNER

16.05.2020: Virtual Race 5 Winner is 66th G. Oliver & Son 1475 ypm. The winner was decided by the nearest velocity to that nominally chosen by RPRA CEO Ian Evans of 1476 ypm. Total now at £1,690! Thank you everyone.

NEWS - RACE 1 SUNDAY 

04.06.20: Race 1 will take place on Sunday 7th June from Purbeck due to weather conditions. Therefore marking will be on Saturday instead.

NEWS - RACE 4 SUNDAY

25.06.20: Race 4 will take place on Sunday 28th June from Purbeck due to weather conditions. Therefore marking will be on Saturday instead.

NEWS - S6 LEADERBOARD

28.06.20: The Super 6 leader board can be found under Results 2020. B. Wija is currently leading the table after race 3.

NEWS - S6 LEADERBOARD

02.07.20: Race 5 will take place on Sunday 5th July from Littlehampton due to weather conditions. Therefore marking will be on Saturday instead.

NEWS - RANDOM PRIZES

11.07.20: Starting on main race 6 through to main race 15, there will be a weekly prize to be won! Each week once I have the marking station results in & know how many entries will be on the result, I will then use a random number generator to give us a random number which I will post on our Facebook group. After this, the result will be formed & the fancier who's position matches the number will win the prize. The prize will be put on the transporter the following week for the winner. Race 6 prize is Osmands Electro-Plus.

NEWS - RACE 8 SUNDAY

Race 8: Due to weather conditions, this weekends race will be marking Saturday for a SUNDAY race from LYNDHURST. New details on pick up times will be sent out in the email.

NEWS - RACE PROGRAMME

31.07.2020: Please see the amended race programme. Littlehampton now has a ferris wheel on the liberation site which has prompted these changes. Chichester is a new race point which is approximately 10 miles further. Distances are on the website.

NEWS - FUTURITY PRIZES

11.08.20: Futurity Prize Money Pay Out of £12,000 for the futurity race on 15th August from Coutances YB BICC. So that a provisional result can be drafted as soon as possible, please verify each of your futurity pigeons using the verification that I have set up on our website homepage. Please only contact me directly on 07718 882067 or email me your futurity details (name, ring number, clocking in time, colour & sex) after 5pm if you really are unable to verify on the website.

NEWS - RACE 11 CANCELLED

14.08.20: Due to poor weather conditions all weekend, a decision has now been made to completely cancel this weekends race 11 from Chichester.

NEWS -  FUTURITY WINNER

17.08.20: Congratulations P. Jackson & Son provisionally 1st, 3rd and 15th winning £5,550 in our 2020 Futurity Race! Also congratulations to everyone else that clocked in, a difficult race for all. A big thank you to everyone who took part. 

NEWS - RACE 12 RACEPOINT

18.08.20: Race 12 will take place from Lyndhurst.

NEWS -  CANCELLATION OF THAMES NATIONAL MESSAC OPEN RACE 2020

23.08.20: Unfortunately due to further Covid-19 restrictions that have been put in place, it is very disappointing for all, but we have had to make the decision to cancel our Thames National Messac/Falaise Open Race which was due to take place in September 2020. The prize money set aside from our Breeder/Buyer race (£500) & Gold Ring race (£200) which was to be awarded to the highest velocity clocked breeder/buyer and gold ring pigeon at the open race will instead roll over to a yearling race at the BICC in 2021 (this race will be chosen nearer the time). The funds raised from our Messac Auction which took place earlier on this year to help fund the running costs of the race will instead be used to help fund the open race in September 2021. Thanks all for your support. 

NEWS - GOLD RING WINNER

31.08.20: Provisional gold ring result from today's BICC race: Congratulations Lee Bastone taking 1st, 2nd, 3rd & 4th Open + 1st & 2nd ES section prizes in our gold ring, provisionally winning £4,280! Also congratulations to all other section prize winners. All provisional winners have been highlighted. The NW section are yet to clock in a gold ring. Thank you to everyone that took part.

NEWS - BLACKPOOL 2021

07.09.20: BHW SHOW OF THE YEAR: BLACKPOOL: With regret, the committee have come to the decision not to hold a Show in 2021 due to the uncertainties and risks in holding such a public event. We look forward to returning in 2022. Our 50th year, with renewed vitality and enthusiasm, to put on an event worthy of such an achievement, an achievement of which every fancier in the U K should be proud! See you in 2022! David Trippett Chair - BHW Show of the year Committee Ian Evans CEO

NEWS - GOLD RINGS 2021

01.12.20: Good Evening Everyone, hope you are all keeping well. Today is the 1st December which means one thing... the gold rings are on their way!
We will be running our gold ring race again which is open to all BICC members on Saturday 11th September 2021 - BICC Vire YB.
Open & section prize money to be won.
We paid out £5,680 in 2020 gold ring prize money.
Rings are available to buy direct from me or on our website www.thamesnec.co.uk/shop where you can pay by PayPal, Card, Bank Transfer.
If you require your rings posted on the day of order please make this known to me to guarantee same day dispatch as I am exceptionally busy.
I also have normal GB2020 rings available to buy.

NEWS - BIRD FLU UPDATE

10.12.20: Please read the below link regarding bird flu in full. This has been updated recently with some info highlighted in yellow so please ensure you read the latest update to follow the new rules.
In particular it states that.... 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. https://www.rpra.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/Avian-Influenza-CoP-101220.pdf

NEWS - MERRY XMAS

20.12.20: Wishing all Thames members & supporters a Merry Christmas & Successful 2021. We hope everyone stays safe & well.

NEWS - ALEX MACKENZIE

10.01.21: Sale of National winning pigeons of Alex Mackenzie of Chelmsford, Essex. 
Due to health problems it is with great sadness that I have decided to retire from pigeon racing after 70 successful years in the sport.
 
1st open NFC Herstal 6223 birds

3rd open NFC Carentan 3330 birds
1st open BICC Tours
1st open BICC Le Mans with 5 in the 1st 7 positions with only our good friend D.C.Talbott getting in the mix that day. Plus many more positions in the top 50 of the BICC results.
1st Essex North Road Combine Lerwick,
Many Essex Central Fed wins on the north road
Many club wins in Chelmsford Invitation.
18x 1st Thames North & Eastern Counties, sometimes taking the 1st 3 positions.
I have won everything I set out to win from:
this family of Janssen Vanden Boche, Meulemann pigeons have had remarkable results from when they were first obtained from the midland maestro Albert Babbington when he was at the top of his game. They have not only won for me but also for many others as far away as Ireland. Our good friend derk Forder of Collier Row has had fantastic results with them having pigeons won 6, 8, 9 & even 10 1st prizes and 4th, 7th & 18th open LNR combine Thurso. Also winning the Amal from Wetherby. Derek has pigeons most years to keep this bloodline going.
All race and stock pigeons are for sale none to be retained. Even his 1st Open BICC Le Mans winner "Decimal" which breeds winners.
These pigeons would have been put up for auction but due to the dreaded covid 19 it is not possible.
If anyone is interested in purchasing these birds please contact me on the phone number 01245 476042 Alex or 07722 601545 Bill, to make an appointment to view the birds.

NEWS - RPRA SOCIAL MEDIA STATEMENT

11.01.21: I am aware of a communication circulating on social media that outlines the possible difficulty of importing and exporting pigeons to and from the UK, post Brexit. For a number of months I have been following guidance issued by DEFRA the APHA and reviewing the relevant EU regulations to assess the impact on Channel racing. While there seem to be potential issues OF increased paperwork/health certification relating to the permanent import of pigeons from EU countries i.e importing a pigeon purchased from a fancier on the continent; the impact and requirements for the transportation of pigeons for sporting purposes may be very different. Guidance previously issued by DEFRA/APHA that includes reference to the requirements for transporting racing pigeons to the continent for sporting purposes has been interpreted in a way that requires far less documentation compared to the permanent import or export of pigeons. However, this interpretation is awaiting confirmation from DEFRA and APHA and with this in mind I had in initial conversation with DEFRA in December 2020 and requested a more detailed conversation in relation to this aspect this month after the Brexit deal had been finalised. Hopefully this meeting will go ahead this month and result in clarification and guidance specific for the transportation of pigeons for racing purposes. In the meantime there is reason to be positive. An update will be issued as soon as possible Ian Evans CEO

NEWS - BREEDER/BUYER

16.01.21: Our Breeder/Buyer Futurity Sales are going online for 2021. In the last two years we have paid out over an incredible £30,000 in B/B prize money. Have you got what it takes to join in with what must be one of the biggest B/B in the country?!

NEWS - RPRA UPDATE - CHANNEL RACING POST BREXIT

20.01.21: The impact of Brexit on Channel racing has been a concern for Pigeon fanciers all around the UK. The required health documentation and processes relating to the import and export of the avian species, published since Brexit has increased these concerns. The relevant EU regulation that covers the transportation of the Avian species from third countries (countries from outside of the EU) into a European Union member state is 2013/139. 'The following has been extracted from the regulation; This Regulation shall apply to animals of the avian species. However, it shall not apply to: (f) racing pigeons which are introduced to the territory of the Union from a neighbouring third country where they are normally resident and then immediately released with the expectation that they will fly back to that third country;' Nevertheless, I considered it prudent to seek confirmation from the relevant authority than no additional health documentation is required . I am pleased to communicate that I have received confirmation from the Centre for International Trade, (via the APHA) that pigeons transported to an EU state are exempt from the requirements that have caused so much concern. The reply is quoted below 'Your understanding is correct; effectively there is no change to the requirements. Retained EU Regulation 139/2013 [1] does exclude racing pigeons in the scope in Article 2, and no additional documentation would be required. There is just a change to our country status from a member state to 'neighbouring third country'. I am sure members will be pleased to read this confirmation. Please note that this relates to the transportation of pigeons for racing purposes and not the permanent import of pigeons from the EU. In this respect I am still seeking further clarification and will update members as soon as I am in receipt of such information. In addition to the above I am also aware of information circulating relating to vehicle emissions. I have seen social media posts that suggest there is a blanket ban on vehicles, that don't meet certain emission requirements, travelling in France. This is not true. However, there are currently a limited amount of low emission zones with certain restrictions; we will publish information shortly outlining where these emission zones exist.
Ian Evans CEO  

2021 RACE PROGRAMME

20.01.21: The race programme can be found on the 'racing' page.

NEWS - BREEDER BUYER A1

08.03.21: Auction 1 finished at 6pm this evening, 66 lots made £4,205! Thank you to everyone who entered as breeders and everyone who brought pigeons, John Gladwin for his help with the auction and also to The Pigeon Superstore for allowing us to run the auctions on their site.

I have contacted all successful bidders regarding payment - paypal, bank transfer, cheque or cash direct to Thames.
Auction 2 goes live Monday 6pm on https://www.thepigeonsuperstore.com/stores/thames-nec-fc/

NEWS - BREEDER BUYER A2

14.03.21: Auction 2 finished this evening, 67 lots made £3,820! Thank you to everyone who entered as breeders and everyone who brought pigeons, John Gladwin for his help with the auction and also to The Pigeon Superstore for allowing us to run the auctions on their site.

I have contacted all successful bidders regarding payment - paypal, bank transfer, cheque or cash direct to Thames.

Auction 3 is NOW LIVE on https://www.thepigeonsuperstore.com/stores/thames-nec-fc/ and ends from 7.30pm - 8.15pm (no 5min rule) on Sunday 21st March.

There is already over £8,000 in the prize fund.

NEWS - RPRA UPDATE - STATEMENT FROM RAPTOR ALLIANCE

09.03.21: On the 5th February 2021 a meeting between the Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Pigeon Racing- Craig Williams MP for Montgomeryshire, DEFRA minister and senior DEFRA officials took place. At this meeting the APPG Chair raised the issues we are experiencing with the rising bird of prey population and specifically the artificial breeding sites used to support Falcons in towns and cities. The DEFRA minister was sympathetic towards the issues experienced by pigeon fanciers and has agreed to facilitate further discussions with DEFRA officials, APPG , Natural England, RSPB and the Hawk and Owl trust. The aim of these discussions is to work towards a Government endorsed guidance for the siting of raptor nest boxes. This has been seen as a very positive step and we thank Craig Williams MP and Chris Guyver of Pepper Shackleton Wellard Ltd for their continued support Colin Clarke - Chair of the Raptor Alliance

NEWS - RPRA UPDATE RE. VACCINATION

10.03.21: As a result of current social distancing rules, the requirement for the vaccination of pigeons to be witnessed by two association members has been relaxed. Wherever possible vaccination should be witnessed by family members or members of the same household. This will remain in place until the Government lifts the restriction on social distancing. Ian Evans CEO.

NEWS - GOLD RING PRIZE MONEY

10.03.21: Gold Ring Prize money for 2021 has been guaranteed to pay out a MINIMUM of £4,500! Open & Section Prize money available. 
There are some (but not many) gold rings still available to buy on www.thamesnec.co.uk/shop/
Our 2021 Gold Ring Race will take place at the second YB BICC race from Vire on 11th September.

NEWS - RPRA MOVING

09.03.21: We will be moving from The Reddings week commencing 22nd March 2021. It is possible there will be some disruption to services between 22nd and 26th March. Contact telephone numbers will remain the same and we will inform the fancy of the new address in due course. We thank you in advance for your patience and understanding. Ian Evans CEO

NEWS - Meeting of the Avian Influenza stakeholder group 23rd March 2021

23.03.21: This morning I attended the meeting of the above group organised by DEFRA. The following is a summary of the update provided by DEFRA. 1. As previously publicised the housing measures will be removed from mid night 31st March 2021. 2. An Avian Influenza Prevention Zone will remain in place across the UK until the risk is assessed as low. 3. The current risk level has been assessed as being between mid and high level. 4. The General license for bird gatherings will be reinstated when the risk level is deemed to be low. 5. The next review will be carried out at the end of March A number of stakeholders asked why DEFRA had not published a 'Road Map' (plan) for when restriction could be lifted. The response outlined that it was impossible to predict when the risk would be assessed as low. I raised the question would Defra be considering the lifting of the ban on gatherings for specific species of birds ie. Before the 'blanket ban was lifted' . It was outlined that pigeons were deemed a low risk of transmitting/spreading avian influenza. Defra's reply was that it was possible that the gatherings could be permitted for certain species deemed low risk in advance of other species of birds. With this in mind I have written to the Defra representatives to request a meeting in advance of the next risk assessment at the end of March Ian Evans CEO

NEWS - Update from APHA/DEFRA

20.03.21: The risk of avian influenza to both wild and kept birds has reduced to 'medium'. The GB-wide Avian Influenza Prevention Zones (AIPZ) requiring enhanced biosecurity will remain in force but Wednesday 31st March 2021 will be the last day poultry and other captive birds will need to be housed in GB (housing restrictions end 23:59 31st March 2021).

Bird gatherings will remain banned. High standards of biosecurity remain essential as infection may still be present in the environment. If you intend to allow your birds outside after 31 March you must take action now to prepare the outside areas. Read our guidance on how to prepare for safe release of your birds available on GOV.UK Further details of the latest avian influenza situation and guidance can be found on GOV.UK at https://www.gov.uk/guidance/avian-influenza-bird-flu.

What does this mean for Pigeon Racing ?

Racing cannot go ahead until the bird gatherings license is reinstated. As outlined above bird gatherings will remain banned. Racing or multiple loft training cannot go ahead until this has been reinstated. 

RPRA NEW ADDRESS

25.03.21: RPRA HQ has moved to: Bizspace Corinium House Corinium Avenue Barnwood Gloucester GL4 3HX Any post sent to The Reddings will also be forwarded.

NEWS - CHANNEL RACING

25.03.21: As you will be aware from my previous publication DEFRA had confirmed that Racing pigeons transported into the EU from the UK for Racing purposes i.e. to be liberated in the EU to fly back to the UK were exempt from the Animal Health requirements. Following this confirmation we have been working with French Border control to establish what paperwork was required. The outcome of this has been that there is a very different opinion to the 'import' of racing pigeons into the EU from the UK for racing purposes in terms of the health documentation. The current position of the French border control would make the prospect of racing from France or any EU country virtually impossible. There has been successful lobbying of the EU commission by the FCI and European racing organisations in terms of exemptions for racing in relation to the the new animal health laws. While it seems the commission has now excluded racing pigeons from such requirements it has recently become apparent that this is only the case for transport within the EU, by EU members states. What is being done? I am in regular contact with French Border control, FCI, FCF (French pigeon Racing Federation) to try and reach a position whereby we can make channel racing achievable. I have also brought this issue to the attention of DEFRA who are looking into the issues. While I am not an expert in the animal health requirements I am of the opinion that article 62 of the animal health requirements for Third countries (countries outside of the EU), that allows such countries to apply for certain derogations (exemptions), is the avenue to take. However, the process for achieving these derogations is yet to be confirmed. The FCI and FCF are currently assisting in trying to establish the process with the Commission and the French Authorities. Please be assured that everything that can be done is being done. Ian Evans CEO

NEWS - TRAINING IN THE UK

29.03.21: In line with the Government Covid roadmap and the current Avian Influenza restrictions, single loft training will be permitted from 29th March 2021. 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 RPRA website

Ian Evans CEO

NEWS - LATEST STATEMENT FROM DEFRA. 


31.03.21: The latest statement from DEFRA in relation to Avian Influenza included below along with the relevant extract from the AI Code of Practice.

The following is an extract from the Avian Influenza Code of Practice for Pigeon Racing. For more info please visit https://www.rpra.org/avian-influenza-code-practice-pigeon-racing/
Please note that multi loft training remains banned throughout the UK. As soon as we have an update in relation to the General License for Gatherings you will be updated.

RPRA UPDATE - COVID MARKING & CLOCK STRIKING

06.04.21: RPRA Update - Please familiarise yourselves with the guidance from the RPRA regarding COVID marking and clock striking. Guidance should be strictly implemented. Please note that in addition to moving to Step 2 of the Government's road map, referred to in the guidance, we will NOT be permitted to start racing until Defra reinstate the General Licence for Gatherings. Guidance can be found on the racing page. 

RPRA UPDATE - DEFRA BAN TIL AT LEAST 30 APRIL. 

09.04.21: Earlier this morning I was informed that the meeting scheduled for this afternoon had been cancelled. I am sure this will be a great disappointed to you all as it is to me. However, a DEFRA representative has taken the time to speak to me and as a result I am able to provide the following update; Defra has commissioned a risk assessment (currently not completed) that will be used to decide when to reinstate the General license. The option to do this on a staged approach starting with species considered a lower risk (such as Racing Pigeons) is still an option being considered. The General license will not be reinstated prior to 30th April. This means that Racing can not take place before this date and will be permitted at the earliest, from 1st May 2021. The meeting has now been rearranged for some time week commencing 19th April 2021 (time and date to be confirmed). I will keep you updated with any developments. In the meantime multi loft training (more than one loft) also remains banned. Ian Evans CEO 

SEVERAL RPRA UPDATES

13.04.21: Given the issues associated with racing from France there have been numerous enquiries in respect of using the Guernsey liberation site. Having spoken with the agent in Guensey this week I am informed that the current position of the authorities is that there will be no liberations at Guensey prior to 1st June 2021. Ian Evans CEO13.04.21 - There are a umber 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 ianevans@rpra.org 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.

15.04.21 - The following has been provided as an update by a representative of the Export team at DEFRA. A meeting took place on Tuesday 13th April 2021 between DEFRA and the Commission. On the long list of agenda items was the impact of the New Animal Health regulations on Channel Racing. DEFRA have now followed this with another written request that focuses on the avenue to achieve derogations (Exemptions) outlined in Article 62 of the Delegated regulation 2020/692. Other actions In addition, I wish to inform members that the RPRA President has written to the French Minister of EU and Foreign affairs outlining our issues and requesting assistance. This Federation Colombophile Francaise (FCF) and federation colombophile internationale have also committed to write to the Minister and support our request for assistance. The FCI and their European colleagues are also attempting to get this issue placed on the agenda at the Commission. May I take this opportunity to thank everyone who is supporting these efforts in a positive manner and also stress how important it is that this is done through a coordinated approach organised through the RPRA. Ian Evans CEO

15.04.21 - The meeting with Defra scheduled for the week commencing 19th April will take place on the 21st April.

RACING START DATE

21.04.21: Some good news at last...Marking Friday 30th April for racing Saturday 1st May.. Further Thames details will be announced this week.

RACE PROGRAMME

26.04.21: Updated race programme and distances can be found on the racing page.

RACE PROGRAMME

28.04.21: Updated race programme can be found on the racing page. Changes to races 3 & 20.

RPRA UPDATE - GUERNSEY

29.04.21: The Agent at Guernsey has asked us to confirm with members that Guernsey is not currently open for pigeon liberations. He is in discussions with the Authorities with the aim of the site being available from 1st June. This is subject to confirmation. Ian Evans CEO

2021 SUPER 6 PRIZES 

29.04.21: Super 6 has kindly been sponsored again anonymously with a £1,000 prize money, the points system for this has changed.
NEW FOR 2021... Formula 1 Lofts have also kindly sponsored Super 6 with 3 pairs of matched Formula 1 Stock Birds worth at least £500 per pair, awarded to those with the most 1st, 4th & 6th positions.
NEW FOR 2021... The same anonymous sponsor has donated £500 prize money for a Super 6 Ace Bird award. A different points system applies. The ACE pigeon will be deemed the winner/runner up by the pigeon(s) with the most points.
Remember, the normal prize money of £1 per pigeon generated from the Super 6 birdage is also paid out as it was last year.

VACCINATION FORMS

27.04.21: Just a reminder that you will need to provide your marking station with your vaccination forms on your first race.No member will be allowed to load their pigeons onto the transporter without providing their station with this.

RACE 2 - SUNDAY RACE

06.05.21: Race 2 - Blandford - Due to weather conditions, this week will be Saturday marking for Sunday race. Marking at normal times on Saturday.

RPRA UPDATE - CHANNEL RACING

At a meeting with DEFRA today it was confirmed that the EU commission has agreed to provide a transitional period for the movement of racing pigeons into the EU for the purpose of racing. This transitional period will run until October 2021 after which time we will have to meet the requirements of the new Animal Health Requirements; unless derogations can be achieved. From recent communications with French Border Control Posts it is obvious that this information has not yet cascaded down to the staff on the ground. DEFRA have a meeting next week where they hope to accelerate this information. However, due to the levels of Avian Influenza on the continent at this point in time the General license does not allow us to race from the continent. This position will be reviewed next week and we hope to have news within the week after next.
I am sure everyone will receive this as positive news. The largest hurdle to channel racing now has a temporary solution. I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the staff at DEFRA who have worked to a position that means we have a temporary solution to the Animal Health Law. More information will be published in due course. 
 

RPRA UPDATE - CHANNEL RACING UPDATE - ANIMAL HEALTH LAW 

14.05.21: Within our previous update we outlined the importance that the EU position was communicated to the relevant members states and the relevant custom authorities. The current position is that there is still not an agreed process to allow the smooth entry into France. We are working with DEFRA and a contact in France, who in turn is working with the French Customs in an attempt to reach a position where all sides are aware of the required paperwork and process to facilitate entry. In the interest of the pigeons welfare; Until this process has been agreed we would advise against any organisation trying to enter France with pigeons, for the purpose of racing. There remains a real possibility that entry would be refused. We will provide an update as soon as the position is clarified. We will publish an update regarding the Avian Influenza issues on Monday 17th May. Ian Evans CEO

CHANNEL RACING - AVIAN INFLUENZA RESTRICTIONS LIFTED

As of the 15th May the restrictions relating to Avian Influenza and Channel racing are lifted. The following is taken from the DEFRA website 'All poultry and bird gatherings, including pigeon gatherings organised for races from mainland Europe, will also be permitted, provided organisers notify the Animal and Plant Health Agency at least seven days before the event takes place and that they comply with the provisions of the new General Licence'.
Ian Evans CEO  

NEWS - RPRA UPDATE ON CHANNEL RACING

14.05.21: RPRA UPDATE ON CHANNEL RACING: As previously published the EU has agreed to extend the transitional period for the new Animal Health Regulations until October 2021. This news was taken as a positive step towards achieving Channel racing with the understanding that we would be able to move pigeons into the EU on the same basis as we have for decades. However, during the transitional period, EU member states are permitted to apply their own national rules and this is where we currently have an issue. The French position is that an Animal Health certificate remains a requirement. The requirements of the Health certificate include but are not limited to: 1. The loft being under the surveillance of an approved Veterinarian who would sign the Health Certificate that in turn requires points 2 and 3 below. 2. Prior to movement the pigeons could not take part in any races for a period of 30 days prior to being moved into France 3. The pigeons/ each Loft would have to supply evidence of a negative test for Paramyxo and Newcastle Disease carried out by an approved laboratory at least 7 days in advance being transported. What is being done? Discussions are ongoing. The RPRA is working with the appropriate UK Authorities, APPG, a supportive French Senator, the FCF and FCI to lobby the French Authorities. These discussions are based on the low risk pigeons pose to the spread of the two diseases at the centre of the health certification requirements; Newcastle disease and Avian Influenza. The aim is to remove the requirements of the Health certificate and proceed on the same basis as we have for decades. As a contingency we are also exploring the rules associated with moving pigeons into Belgium, Holland and Germany. It may prove possible to move pigeons into these countries without the Health Certificate. If this proved positive we would at least provide an opportunity for cross channel racing from these Countries. Why hasn't the RPRA previously explored the possibility of Racing from other European Countries ? Because until the EU applied the transitional period mentioned above such actions would not have been possible. Next Update We will provide the next update as soon as we have any information or by next Friday at the latest. Ian Evans CEO 

NEWS - UBI MARKING

25.05.21: Details for UBI marking are as follows:

Marking station: Estuary- Basildon Post Office Sports & Social Club, Gardiners Way, Basildon, Essex, SS14 3AW
(This is the same place as where BICC marking takes place)
Marking date: Thursday 27th May.
Time: 7pm - 8.30pm
Cost: £1.75 per pigeon + a £2 admin fee per member.
Race point: Wadebridge
Please can you give me some idea if you plan to send and approx birdage so we can ensure we have enough UBI crates for marking.
There will be a top 20 Thames UBI result.

NEWS - CHANNEL RACING UPDATE

28.05.21: The situation regarding channel racing has not changed since our announcement on 21st May. We will continue to work with those bodies and individuals outlined in last weeks update. As soon as we have any news we will provide an update immediately. Ian Evans CEO

NEWS - RACE 7

07.06.21: Just to clarify, this weekends race (Race 7) is from Blandford. We had made enquiries regarding an Amal/Combine race from Wadebridge but the other clubs/feds have not got back to us.


NEWS - UBI MARKING 

07.06.21: Details for UBI marking are as follows:

Marking station: Estuary- Basildon Post Office Sports & Social Club, Gardiners Way, Basildon, Essex, SS14 3AW
(This is the same place as where BICC marking takes place)
Marking date: Thursday 10th June.
Time: 7pm - 8.30pm
Cost: £1.75 per pigeon + a £2 admin fee per member.
Race point: Truro
Please can you let your marking station know if you plan to send and approx birdage so we can ensure we have enough UBI crates for marking.
There will be a top 20 Thames UBI result. 

NEWS - UBI RACE PROGRAMME

27.06.21: Amended race programme with only changes to the UBI races

NEWS - UBI MARKING

26.06.21: Details for UBI marking are as follows:

Marking station: Estuary- Basildon Post Office Sports & Social Club, Gardiners Way, Basildon, Essex, SS14 3AW
(This is the same place as where BICC marking takes place)
Marking date: Thursday 1st July.
Time: * Earlier time of 6pm - 7.30pm as the pick up time is an earlier time of 8pm for this race*
Cost: £2 per pigeon + a £2 admin fee per member.
Race point: Guernsey
Please can you let your marking station know if you plan to send and approx birdage by Tuesday so we can ensure we have enough UBI crates for marking.
There will be a top 20 Thames UBI result.

NEWS - CHANNEL RACING UPDATE

06.07.21: I am conscious that it has been over 5 weeks since my last update. Therefore, I wanted to update members in terms of actions and strategy.

Long Term Objectives

It has been widely publicised that the new EU Animal Health regulation (2020/692) makes it virtually impossible to facilitate racing from the continent. With this in mind our attention has to be focused on a long term solution that can only be achieved by an amendment to this regulation. Therefore, a petition has been drafted with a view to petitioning the EU commission to amend the relevant regulation/ rules of moving pigeons from the UK into the continent for the purpose of racing.

I am aware of an EU petition circulating on social media that has received a great deal of support from UK pigeon fanciers and their families. However, this petition will not help our cause as it focuses on the movement of pigeons between members states and not Third Countries. Furthermore, it is my understanding that only EU citizens can petition the commission and that petitions can only be raised by organisations based within the EU. As a result, we have approached the FCI for their assistance.. This petition will be circulated to the national racing pigeon bodies of EU member states, to publicise wide and far among their members and request their support.

In addition I have met with representatives of the NFC and BICC who are keen to help. They are currently approaching EU based Lobbying organisation to identify suitability and to establish cost.

Short Term Objectives

As previously publicised the EU commission agreed to a transitional period before implementing the new regulation. However, during the transitional period member states can apply their own rules in relation to the movement of racing pigeons from Third Countries. The current rules being implemented by the French Authorities are as onerous as those contained within the EU regulation 2020/692. A supportive French Senator will be raising a question, aimed at helping the short term movement into France, at the French Senate on 13th July.

Despite the assistance of the FCI and numerous emails to other EU countries; we have been unable to establish the rules of moving pigeons into other EU countries during the transitional period.

All Party Parliament Group (APPG)

The Chair of the APPG will once again be writing to the DEFRA Minister, highlighting the issues and requesting assistance in negotiating a solution. This letter will be published in due course.

Ian Evans

NEWS - UBI MARKING

09.07.21: Details for UBI marking are as follows:

Marking station: Estuary- Basildon Post Office Sports & Social Club, Gardiners Way, Basildon, Essex, SS14 3AW
(This is the same place as where BICC marking takes place)
Marking date: Wednesday 14th July.
Race: Friday 16th July.

Time: * Earlier time of 6pm - 7.30pm as the pick up time is an earlier time of 8pm for this race*
Cost: £2 per pigeon + a £2 admin fee per member.
Race point: Guernsey
Please can you let your marking station know if you plan to send and approx birdage by close of Sunday so we can ensure we have enough UBI crates for marking.
There will be a top 20 Thames UBI result.

NEWS - CHANNEL RACING

19.07.21: RPRA Update on Channel Racing - EU Animal Health Law

Yesterday I received a draft copy of proposed amendments to the new EU Animal Health Law. You may recall at the start of the year my communication highlighted the possibility within the regulations for derogation's (Exemptions) under article 62. The draft amendment does include proposed derogation's that IF approved, would be a huge step towards achieving continental racing in 2022.
I must stress that there is still a long way to go. The RPRA will continue to work with DEFRA, FCI and other European colleagues and friends to hopefully achieve the desired outcome.
Ian Evans CEO.

NEWS - 2 DRIVERS NEEDED

26.07.21: We are looking for 2 drivers:

One for Friday evening 30/07/2021 to collect the Dagenham pigeons and meet the transporter at another station.
One for Tuesday/Wednesday 03/08/2021 & 04/08/2021 to drive/convoy the pigeons on the main transporter to Littlehampton.
Payment for both. Please get in touch if you can help. 
 

NEWS - CHANNEL RACING

05.08.21: RPRA Update on Channel Racing
The BICC brought to our attention that a single loft has been able to successfully comply with current regulations and send their pigeons to the Perpignan International this coming weekend. This has been achieved at significant cost to the individual member concerned; reported to be in the region of £750. It is assumed these costs relate to the required health certificate. Whilst it seems that it is possible for an individual to race across the channel, it has come at a significant cost to that individual member which would clearly be prohibitive to the majority of the RPRA members. Putting aside the cost and taking into consideration the existing UK infrastructure of relevant authorities (approved veterinarians etc),it would be impossible to facilitate racing for organisations given the large numbers of pigeons and competitors. The RPRA is committed to finding a sustainable, long term solution for all of their members and we will continue to work together to achieve a return to channel racing for all. Our previous communication outlined that there are steps being taken within the EU to amend the current regulations, although these amendments are currently not approved. Based on this we are more than hopeful that a solution will be achieved in advance of the 2022 season. Ian Evans CEO 

NEWS - RPRA NEW ADDRESS

To remind everyone that ' Please make sure that you send all your correspondence to Royal Pigeon Racing Asssociation to our new address at Corinium House, Corinium Avenue, Barnwood, Gloucester GL4 3HX. The mail redirection has now ended. Any future mails addressed to Reddings House, GL51 6RN would be returned. Could club secretaries please advise their members of the above. Ian Evans CEO 

NEWS - RACE 16 SUNDAY

06.08.21: Race 16 Sunday Race.
Due to weather conditions, Race 16 Holmsley will be Saturday marking for a Sunday race. Normal pick up times on Saturday.   

NEWS - MIDWEEK RACE

11.08.2021 - We have been asked by several marking stations to consider another midweek race from Littlehampton. I have provisionally organised another race from Littlehampton on Wednesday 18th August, marking Tuesday 17th August as usual. Main race only, no super 6. Liberation will be at the first suitable opportunity. However, we require a driver/convoyer to enable this midweek race to go ahead. If you are interested and can help, please get in touch (you do not need a special license to drive the transporter). Without a driver, the race cannot go ahead. The cut off point is Friday so if no driver comes forward by then, the race will be cancelled. I will email out the outcome either way on Friday.

NEWS - CANCELLED RACE

17.08.2021 - Tomorrow's race from Littlehampton is now CANCELLED due to weather conditions. If I can find a driver for a midweek race next week then it will be re-arranged, I will confirm once a driver has been sourced.

NEWS - MIDWEEK RACE

19.08.2021 - Due to weather conditions this weekends race from Yeovil will now be on SUNDAY 22nd August with marking on Saturday at usual times.The midweek Littlehampton race that was cancelled earlier on this week has been rescheduled for Tuesday 24th August. Marking will be on Monday evening.

NEWS - PRIZE MONEY

23.08.2021 - Prize Money for the Breeder Buyer & Gold Ring Races can be found on the relevant pages under Events.

NEWS - RACE 22 CHANGE

01.09.2021 - Race 22 Change of Lib Site - Due to so many liberations taking place at Yeovil this weekend, we will now be at Weymouth instead on 04.09.2021.

NEWS - UBI GUERNSEY

02.09.2021 - UBI Guernsey Marking:
Marking station: Estuary- Basildon Post Office Sports & Social Club, Gardiners Way, Basildon, Essex, SS14 3AW
(This is the same place as where BICC marking takes place)
Marking date: Thursday 9th September
Race date: Saturday 11th September.
Time: * Earlier time of 6pm - 7.30pm as the pick up time is an earlier time of 8pm for this race*
Cost: £2 per pigeon + a £2 admin fee per member.
Race point: Guernsey
If you haven't already done so, please let your marking station know if you plan to send and approx birdage by the end of Sunday so we can ensure we have enough UBI crates for marking.
There will be a top 20 Thames UBI result.

NEWS

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