For Immediate Release:
3 July 2020
PETA Calls On the Queen to Cut Ties With Pigeon Racing After Exposé Reveals Royal Birds Die at International Race
Sydney – Flanked by a PETA UK supporter and holding signs with the message “Your Majesty: Stop Sending Pigeons to Their Deaths!” and “End Pigeon-Racing Cruelty”, a giant beaten and bruised “pigeon” on crutches protested this week outside Windsor Castle – where the Queen has been isolating since the start of lockdown.
The action follows a just-released PETA US investigation revealing that pigeons die by the thousands at the South African Million Dollar Pigeon Race (SAMDPR). Every one of the eight birds sent by the Queen to participate in the 2020 SAMDPR died during the quarantine period, during which stressed birds from all over the world are grouped together in the same loft with the potential to transmit diseases, including zoonotic ones, to one another. Those who survive are forced into long training sessions under the blazing South African sun, where many become disorientated and die from exhaustion, dehydration, or starvation. Less than a quarter of the pigeons who originally enter the race series complete it.
“Pigeons aren’t toys. They’re caring parents, devoted mates, and extraordinary navigators who deserve better than to be raced to their deaths,” says PETA spokesperson Emily Rice. “Her Majesty is known to be an animal lover and should cut ties with this horrific ‘sport’.”
PETA – whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment” – opposes speciesism, which is a human-supremacist worldview.
For more information, please visit PETA.org.au.