This a for profit organization THAT THRIVES ON PUBLIC FUNDS. They prey on animal lovers of all sorts for their sustenance and existence. A public that consists of individuals who are loving caring people who they manipulate into a frenzy by presenting selective limited information and erroneous facts against anyone that they can pick on to incite the public to energize and infuriate which will provide them donations (funds) for their fraudulent schemes to support their inflated salaried officers and CEO’s.
Their latest attack is against the Racing Homing Pigeon Sport who they have labeled evil heartless Gamblers. People that abuse, use mistreat and are cruel to these magnificent animals. I consider myself an authority on the sport based on my constant participation since 1955. Also as serving as an elected official on the board and President of the American Racing Pigeon Union for twelve years. Plus a twenty four year background in Law enforcement as an NYPD Detective (ret).
They allege that it is cruel to maintain a loft of Racing Homing Pigeons in captivity. Understand that the pigeon has a mind of its own and is free to fly away at will. They do not have any sensors or monitors around their neck to limit their travel outside a certain zone. This being said they love their home and never leave with the exception being during their learning stages of flight after weaning. These birds are athletes not pets, they are a treated royally with daily punctuality along with professional care from Vets if and when it is required do to an injury are illness. They are housed in State of the art lofts containing proper ventilation provided by exhaust fans, Wave humidity control, air purifiers and heating sources if warranted. They receive the proper nutrition in their daily diet, protein, fat, and carbohydrates in an assortment of grains and supplements added to the water in the form of vitamins, minerals, probiotics, and electrolytes. They are vaccinated to prevent an assortment of common annual illnesses they could be exposed to.
The races are weekend events which are carefully planned to avoid unpleasant or negative weather conditions along the race course that could be anywhere from 100 to 500 miles. They are transported in state of the art trailers specifically designed and built to transport racing pigeons to provide proper ventilation, lack of exhaust fumes, with lights and fans so that the air is purified and the birds can be feed and watered as warranted. The racing pigeon has only one objective and that is to return home as swiftly as they are capable of. This is enhanced by superb attentive care, hygiene, (routine bathing) training, and conditioning and incentive stimulation by the fancier. The incentive is to enhance the pigeons desire to return as swiftly and directly as possible either to a mate, offspring, tyrant, special territory within the loft. Similar to the incentive greyhounds have to race, to chase a fake rabbit.
Gambling another farce there is no illegal gambling permitted or conducted, assume that you and your friends get together for a game of chance and make wages during the game. That is not unlawful illegal gambling. Racing pigeon fanciers wager among themselves, only they are wagering on their pigeons speed, orientation and fastest route home not a deck of cards, dominos, or checkers etc. . There is no bookmaker, outsider, producer, or anyone getting a cut of the wagering, 100% of the funds go directly to the participants, perfectly legal. Fees/ expenses of course, nothing is free in this world we pay for pigeon transportation, and voluntarily support our clubs operating overhead which consists of rent, taxes, fuel, insurance, maintenance, and normal routine expenses.
Cruelty as to disposing of pigeons that is not up to par. Unfortunately there is a limit as to how many pigeons one loft can sustain to maintain the health of the occupants and not create a nuisance to neighbors. Those pigeons that do not respond to the task are sold to a food market such as the Hackettstown Market where the public goes to purchase live pigs, rabbits, poultry and pigeons aka as squab which are highly sought after for the food chain.
On the subject of Hawks, a majestic beautiful animal. Picture yourself walking your toy poodle and a Pit Bull attacks and shreds your loving pet to pieces. That is what we experience each time a Hawk strikes and captures one of our beloved pigeons and devours the entire bird which is reduced to a circle of feathers. Let’s go back to day six after the mother lays her first egg. The egg is candled to ensure that there is life in the egg. On day seventeen the new arrival is born and observed by the fancier to ensure that all is well. On day seven the new squeaker receives its unique badge of honor, a seamless leg ring bearing the year of birth and the lifetime official registration number of the squeaker. At day 25 after weaning the newest member of the loft is introduced to the other siblings and to the racing loft. From that day forward its life is in jeopardy due to these vicious raptors. There is not much we can do but erect distractions and mirrors to confuse the raptures.
“Thousands of Homing pigeons lost” another misdirected blame on the fanciers. Yes there are rare occasions that some pigeons fail to return it has happened to all of us one time or another. This is merely natures way of reducing the herd. It is not controlled or produced by the fanciers. On clear beautiful days it happens not due to anything caused by the fanciers but it is natures way pure and simple.
The Homing Racing pigeon is revered by the fanciers and the public for the lives they saved in WW II. They provide an escape from life’s daily pressures for fanciers as well as an attempt to produce a future Champion. Consider that one in 26,000 bred will earn an AU Champion award and one in 69,000 will earn an AU Elite Champion award, those are treasured as rare jewels and have had fanciers around the globe willing to pay over a quarter of million dollars to own such a treasure for reproduction, in the hope that the positive genes will carry on in future generations.
Beware of P E T A they have only one objective to deceive and incite the public for their own personal gains.
NYPD Det. Ret,
Past Director, Executive VP, and President of the ARPU
Published with permission from the author
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