Stamp Out Illegal Pigeon Racing

Target: Attorney General Eric Holder

Goal: Investigate and put an end to the illegal, inhumane pigeon racing industry.

Sentient beings should never have to suffer for our entertainment, but all too often animals face unwelcome fates as props in human recreation. We immediately think of dogs and horses when we think of animal racing, but pigeons are also forced to compete for the sake of a multimillion-dollar gambling industry. Not only is betting on pigeon races illegal, it also inspires horrifically inhumane treatment of racing birds. Racers separate pigeons from their families, pack them into crates, then force them to fly hundreds of miles at once in a grueling competition. Most birds never even make it to the finish line, either getting lost or succumbing to exhaustion, exposure or other hazards along the way.

Cruel as the sport itself may be, the pigeons that actually get to race against each other could be called the lucky ones. Of all the birds purchased for racing, only one in 12 will be considered fast enough to compete. The rest are simply killed by their racers–often suffocated, decapitated, drowned or gassed. The surviving birds that do get to race are often force-fed performance-enhancing drugs to give them a leg up on their competition. Whether killed from the outset or subjected to grueling interstate races up to 600 miles long, racing pigeons face an entirely inhumane fate.

Pigeons are intelligent, loyal creatures who mate for life and demonstrate complex problem solving abilities. Abusing them for sport is both unethical and illegal, but the pigeon racing industry still continues to generate $15 million a year in revenues. Tell the Attorney General to investigate and ultimately put an end to this cruel and unlawful gambling industry. Sign the petition below today.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Attorney General Eric Holder,

Every year, pigeon racers operate their business outside of the law to garner millions of dollars in revenue from gamblers. Not only is the pigeon racing industry illegal, it’s also grossly unethical, subjecting thousands of birds yearly to inhumane treatment and grisly deaths. Packed into crates and shipped hundreds of miles away from their homes, these pigeons must survive the elements, hunters and predators to race each other back to their point of origin. Most never make it–and the ones that do are often killed by their owners if they don’t win.

Pigeon racing is an immoral form of human entertainment that subjects thousands of birds to torture and death. It flagrantly violates federal gambling laws and animal welfare legislation. I ask that you take action to put a stop to this illegal practice by investigating and criminally charging pigeon racers nationwide.

Sincerely,
[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Jean-Daniel Echenard via Flickr.

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2 Comments

  1. John DeLorenzo says:

    Your evaluation of pigeon racing is entirely incorrect and unfounded. I have been involved in pigeon keeping,racing and showing for over 20 years,and NEVER have I heard of some of the allegations listed here. A racing pigeon is allowed to fly free, it is not held captive in anyway, and it faces the same dangers as a wild bird that does not have the luxury to call a clean dry place “home”. Actually the dangers are even less for racing pigeons taking into consideration that these animals are better fed and given better healthcare than than some people do for their children. The fact of the matter is, every single fancier that I know WANTS their birds to return home. As far as birds being killed,drowned or gassed because they do not perform up to standards, that is ridciulous!

  2. John DeLorenzo says:

    Cont.
    Birds that are unwanted for any reason are given away to other fanciers or sold to local pet stores. The list of accusations here make me wonder if it was real pigeon faciers that were even interviewed. And as far as 250,00 dollars bet on a single race, plz tell me where this race is! I been doing all this work for trophys over the years! The fact is, out hobby is a labor of love. Pigeons have been used for 2000 years as messengers to kings, lifesavers in wartime, and overall symbols of peace. Please let’s not cheapen their image by false propoganda from people wishing to further their own hypocritical agenda! Thank you!

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