The Racing Pigeon - 5th April 2024



winter. Gardening is like decorating where I am concerned, I like the idea of it and the thought of the end result, but once I’ve started, I detest doing it. The garden bins are now full so that gives me an excuse for not partaking in anymore green fingered lark for a while. Since I last wrote, the announcement came through from the government that from October, all bird keepers must

This form stated that you needed a council parish holding (CPH) number, again sending the internet into a frenzy, with some saying they would ‘pack up’ before ‘being controlled by DEFRA’. Fanciers in Ireland, who have had to register their birds for years, tried to reassure others by stating that the infor- mation given didn’t result in any money needing to change hands, or in visits

reference number, which the lady said they can gather from our postcode if I hadn’t already done it, and she told we what I already knew regarding needing a vet if we wished to race from France. I’m sure that we can lend a hand to any members in our own clubs who may struggle to register their own birds and for those that have already gone through the process of obtaining a CPH

so’, but I get fed up with all the negative thinking! I will end with a tale of being taunted by a pigeon we lost off the loft last year as a young bird, who has now decided to nest and breed underneath next doors solar panels on her roof. We have seen him flying back and forth ever since we lost him, he claps over but has never landed on the loft. It’s quite

Leaving soon.

Feed me Dad.

register their captive birds with DEFRA, regardless of the size of their flock. Once again, this has caused great debate on social media and dare I say it, in my opinion a lot of scaremon- gering! We had to register a couple of years back due to being in a bird flu zone and since then, all that has involved has been receiving notifica- tions of about avian flu and bluetongue outbreaks. I saw a form circulated on Facebook, which was seven pages in length and caused concern amongst many that this could cause difficulty for elderly members and could well put fanciers off from registering altogether.

from outside agencies, unless of course you fly from France and need a vet. Although I had registered using the surveillance of susceptible stock form, we had never received a CPH number, so I took it upon myself to try and find out more. A six minute telephone call later, I had given all the information needed to obtain a CPH number, and was informed that this would mean that no other documentation would need to be completed by us regarding the regis- tration of birds by October. I was asked no intrusive questions, simply name and address of those in our partnership and where the birds were kept, a grid

number, they won’t have to do anything. I have no idea if in the future, we are going to need to pay for some sort of licence from DEFRA to be able to keep and race our birds, or if it will come to the point where a veterinarian must vaccinate our pigeons, like they have had to do for many years on the conti- nent. All I do know is that it needs to be done, and at this present time, I feel that DEFRA will be far more concerned with protecting the likes of the multi million pounds egg production etc, in this country, than in us pigeon fanciers. Maybe I will be proved wrong and will end up being taunted with ‘we told you

upsetting that he’d rather rough it in the wild than live with us but he looks quite well on his outdoor lifestyle. His brother ‘Big Col’ is in our race team, and they were both bred from Michael Collins stock. I wonder how many little feral ‘Col’s’ he will produce before the year is out. I’ve often said we have helped to boost the feral population in our area with the number of babies we have loft round the loft over the years we have been here and now I have proof. I hope you all enjoy a lovely Easter break with your families and will write again soon. Jo Cuthbert

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