More news

Petition: Excessive legislation for moving racing pigeons between European countries is still a problem

06 Aug 2021


The European racing pigeon sector is again in turbulent waters because of a new European law ("Animal Health Law" or AHL) that will come into force on 21 October.

This law made it almost impossible to release pigeons for races in other European countries earlier this year, but luckily this was avoided thanks to the lobbying of the FCI, KBDB and other pigeon organisations in Europe. Unfortunately, the law continues to apply to all movements apart from races and training flights.

Therefore, from 21 October onwards any movement of racing pigeons between European countries that is not intended to release pigeons will still require an expensive official animal health certificate issued by a government veterinarian (not a regular veterinarian!) and the racing pigeons will have to have been at the location of departure for at least 21 days before they can be moved.

In other words, it will be practically unfeasible and very expensive to move racing pigeons between European Member States.

For this reason a number of stakeholders including PIPA, Herbots, Bricon and others have set up an association called Racing Pigeon Partners (RPP). Its mission is to defend the general interests of pigeon dealers, breeders and other stakeholders at the national and European levels. More information on

To fight against the excessive consequences of the AHL, RPP has launched a petition. For this petition to succeed, many signatures are needed.

The petition can be signed via this link. You will also find a detailed text explaining the consequences of this new European legislation (AHL).

The purpose of the petition is to force a consultation with the competent authorities in order to make the legislation feasible and workable for all concerned racing pigeon keepers in the short term.

This legislation applies to everyone who keeps pigeons, both hobbyists and professionals, so please do not hesitate to spread this email within your own personal circles and professional networks.

Every vote counts.

With kind regards,
Met vriendelijke groeten,

Niels Cuelenaere
Racing Pigeon Partners


Petition: Excessive legislation for moving racing pigeons between European countries is still a problem

In spite of the recently established exemption for races and training flights, the new European animal health legislation (also known as "Animal Health Law" or AHL) still hangs like a dark cloud over all other activities in our racing pigeon sector. 

At the end of last year it became known that this legislation, in its fight against bird flu, threatens to restrict the whole European pigeon sport. As of 21 October, every time racing pigeons are moved from one European country to another, a health certificate issued by the government will be required. In addition, the sender must be able to prove that the pigeons being moved to another country have remained in his or her loft for at least 21 uninterrupted days before departure. Moreover, racing pigeons may only be moved between countries between senders and recipients registered by the government. This concerns both professionals and hobbyists. In other words, it affects everyone who keeps racing pigeons.

As is now known, thanks to the lobbying efforts of the FCI, the KBDB and other national European pigeon associations, a total catastrophe has already been avoided. The European Commission has agreed to change the law so that races and training flights can still take place without certification and without a 21-day residency period.

Despite this important victory for the sport, the law still applies to all other types of movements that are not aimed at releasing pigeons abroad. For these movements, a 21-day presence at the place of departure and a health certificate will still be required.

In concrete terms, this includes movements to and from another European country for:


  • Exchanging, breeding together, trading, gifting etc. pigeons with/to a pigeon fancier abroad;
  • The return of recovered pigeons by a race organizer;
  • Repatriation of lost raced pigeons;
  • Transporting pigeons to an exhibition, prize-giving ceremony or other event;
  • Transporting pigeons to a photographer, handler, laboratory, one loft race, etc.;
  • ...

Even if the pigeons are only moved abroad for a very short time (e.g. a few hours), before they can return to their country of origin they will again have to spend 21 days at the registered place of departure abroad, and a health certificate will again have to be issued (this time by the foreign authorities) to allow the movement.

It goes without saying that this legislation will have extremely expensive and unworkable consequences in practice and will damage not only the economic fabric of our industry but will also have a negative impact on the welfare of racing pigeons.

Moreover, the measures imposed by the law are completely unnecessary for racing pigeons, as they can only be infected with avian influenza themselves in very rare cases and certainly never transmit the disease to other birds. This is supported by the latest scientific research and publications.

For the above reasons the new interest group Racing Pigeon Partners (RPP) is launching a petition that will be circulated throughout Europe to denounce the disproportionate consequences of the legislation and to request a consultation with the competent policymakers at both national and European level.

RPP ( was recently founded by PIPA, Herbots, Pigen, De Duif, Bricon and EPW with the mission to defend the economic interests of all pigeon fanciers.

RPP invites everybody to sign the petition in their own name to express their support for this cause. Every signature counts.

You can find the petition via the link below. Do not hesitate to share this petition with everyone who has an interest. The future of our pigeon sport depends on it.!gjdlh