Information to all members of the N.I.P.A.

THE GENERAL LICENCE ISSUED BY DAERA NORTHERN IRELAND IS STILL REVOKED IE NOT IN PLACE.  UNTIL THIS LICENCE IS REINSTATED PIGEON RACING IS NOT PERMITTED NEITHER IS TRAINING OF PIGEONS PERMITTED FROM MORE THAT ONE LOFT.

MANY OF YOU HAVE ASKED WHERE HAS THIS LICENCE COME FROM AS THEY HAVE NEVER HEARD OF IT.

I CAN ASSURE YOU ALL I HAVE BEEN WORKING WITH THIS LICENCE FOR OVER 40 YEARS.

IF THERE IS NO ISSUE WITH HEALTH PROBLEMS IN ANIMAL`S THIS LICENCE IS IN PLACE AND EVERY THING CAN CONTINUE AS NORMAL.

THIS TIME LAST YEAR WE HAD NO HEALTH ISSUES IN POULTRY UNFORTUNATLEY THIS YEAR WE HAVE AVIAN FLU WHICH HAS BEEN ONGOING FOR A NUMBER OF WEEKS AND UNTIL DAERA ARE SATISFIED THAT THE RISK IN NORTHERN IRELAND IS LOW THEY WILL NOT RE INSTATE IT. WE ARE SLOWLEY MOVING TO THAT POSITION AND I WOULD EXPECT TO HAVE SOME POSITIVE INFORMATION AS SOON AS POSSIBLE.

MY PERSONAL VIEW ON THIS IS THE LICENCE MAY BE RE INSTATED BY THE END OF APRIL BUT PLEASE BEAR IN MIND WE DO NOT WISH TO HEAR OF ANY FURTHER OUTBREAKS IN NORTHERN IRELAND OR THE IRISH REPUBLIC. IF THIS SHOULD HAPPEN THEN WE WILL BE CLOSED DOWN FOR A FURTHER 6 WEEKS AT LEAST.

THE NIPA HAVE PENCILLED IN THEY WOULD LIKE TO COMMENCE PIGEON RACING ON 24TH APRIL THIS IS STILL THEIR GOAL. PERSONALLY I BELIEVE THIS DATE WILL BE VERY DIFFICULT TO ACHIEVE BUT NOT IMPOSSIBLE.

ON THE 21ST APRIL 2021 NEW EU RULES WILL BE IMPLEMENTED IN ALL MEMBER STATES. WE HAVE NOT SEEN A COPY OF THEM AS YET WE HAVE A BIT OF AN IDEA WHAT THEY MAY CONTAIN. NORTHERN IRELAND IS NOT A MEMBER STATE OF THE EUROPEAN UNION BUT IF WE WISH TO RACE PIGEONS IN A THE IRISH REPUBLIC AND FRANCE WE WOULD HAVE TO ABIDE TO THESE RULES.

SOME OF THE LAWS MAY BE AS FOLLOWS  ALL LOFTS WILL HAVE TO PROVIDE  A VETINEARY CERTIFICATE STATING THAT ALL PIGEONS IN YOUR LOFT/LOFTS ARE FULLY VACCINATED WITH A FULLY RECOGNISED VACCINE NONE OF THIS CHEAP STUFF THAT SOME MAY BE USING WILL BE ACCEPTED

EACH PIGEON MAY HAVE TO CARRY ITS OWN HEALTH PASSPORT, BEFORE ENTERING A RACE THE PIGEON MAY HAVE TO BE QUARANTINED FOR THREE WEEKS AND MUCH MORE.

HOWEVER WE HAVE SUBMITTED TO LIVE TRADE DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE IN DUBLIN THAT NORTHERN IRELAND SHOULD BE TREATED EQUALLY AS ANY MEMBER STATE AND NOT AS A THIRD COUNTRY AND THAT WE SHOULD BE EXEMPT FROM THESE NEW REGULATIONS

AS SOON AS I HAVE ANY POSITIVE NEWS I WILL UPDATE THE WEB SITE

Regards

Fred Russell Secretary N.I.P.A.

Ps maybe a hint of some positive news  Wednesday/Thursday of this week

R.P.R.A. General Licence information.

Earlier this morning I was informed that the meeting scheduled for this afternoon had been cancelled. I am sure this will be a great disappointed to you all as it is to me. However, a DEFRA representative has taken the time to speak to me and as a result I am able to provide the following update; DEFRA has commissioned a risk assessment (currently not completed) that will be used to decide when to reinstate the General license. The option to do this on a staged approach starting with species considered a lower risk (such as Racing Pigeons) is still an option being considered. The General license will not be reinstated prior to 30th April. This means that Racing can not take place before this date and will be permitted at the earliest, from 1st May 2021. The meeting has now been rearranged for some time week commencing 19th April 2021 (time and date to be confirmed). I will keep you updated with any developments. In the meantime multi loft training (more than one loft) also remains banned.

Ian Evans CEO R.P.R.A.

This applies to England and is for information purposes only.

General Licence information published on Face Book pages.

Reference to the posting on face book pages stating we have been given the go ahead to race pigeons it is not true and should be deleted immediately from these face book pages with an apology for publishing misleading information to the pigeon fanciers.

I am forwarding you an email received today from Jim Blee  at the Department of DAERA . See below..

No date has been set for the General Licence to be put in place.

I will also publish an email received from Ian Evans confirming no General licence has been put in place in England and Racing will not commence before the end of April.

From: Blee, Jim <Jim.Blee@daera-ni.gov.uk>
Sent: 09 April 2021 14:16
To: Fred Russell <nipapigeons@hotmail.co.uk>; Lennon, Gerard <Gerard.Lennon@daera-ni.gov.uk>
Subject: RE: General Licence

Fred

No decision on pigeon racing as yet, we are working on it.

Jim Blee I Animal Disease Control & Trade Policy Branch I Veterinary Service Animal Health Group I Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs I Ballykelly House I 111 Ballykelly Road I Ballykelly I Limavady I BT49 9HP

Tel: (028) 77442074 I Ext: 49074 I Mob: 07841 804 520 I Email: jim.blee@daera-ni.gov.uk

Information on the 2021 season.

THE N.I.P.A . MANAGEMENT COMMITTEE HAVE AGREED THAT THE EARLIEST COMMENCEMENT DATE FOR RACING  IS SATURDAY 24TH APRIL 2021.

A REVISED PROGRAMME WILL BE AGREED NEXT MONDAY 12TH APRIL 2021

MULTI TRAINING SHOULD BE ABLE TO COMMENCE ON THE 13/14TH  APRIL  THIS TO BE CONFIRMED WHEN THE GENERAL LICENCE HAS BEEN RE INSTATED

REGARDS

Fred Russell Secretary. 6th April 2021.

Directive from the R.P.R.A.

R.P.R.A. RULES & COVID 19 RESTRICTIONS

As a result of the ongoing Covid 19 restriction and the timescales
associated with racing the following rules have been relaxed:

Rules 221 & 225 – Three way testing. For 2021 only 1 signature will be
required.

Rules 235a – for 2021 Electronic rings must be allocated to the ring
number of the members pigeon a minimum of 1 days prior to the use of the
ETS instead of 7 days in advance of use.

Obituary Ken Wilkinson

It is with deep regret that I have to inform you of the death of Ken Wilkinson the chairman of the N.I.P.A. Ken has passed away after a long period of illness.

On behalf of the officials, committee and members of the N.I.P.A. I extend our deepest sympathy to his wife Eileen and his family.

Ken will be sadly missed by all.

Fred Russell Secretary N.I.P.A.

Obituary Sammy Thompson

It is with deep sadness that I in form you of the death of Sammy Thompson who passed away today after a short illness, a short time after the death of his wife Edith.

Sammy was the current N.I.P.A. Patron and a life vice president.

Sammy was for many years an R.P.R.A. Councillor travelling to England to represent the Irish Region.

Sammy was also a former president and chairman of the Irish National Flying Club and was a life vice president.

A true a faithful supporter of all pigeon organisations who travel many miles to attend meetings in the winter months for many years.

The sympathy of all pigeon fanciers are with his family at this sad time.

Fred Russell secretary N.I.P.A.

Training of Pigeons and Information on this web site.

At present training of racing pigeons is not permitted.

Pigeons can be released from the loft for exercise.

It has been report that racing pigeons are being released at the Moira motorway roundabout. Restrictions are in place at present and until DAERA issue a general licence training or racing cannot take place.

Also please note that the web site may not be available in the next few days, this is due to hosting issues which we are trying to resolve at this time. If the site is closed down we will reinstate it as soon as possible.

Fred Russell

N.I.P.A. secretary.

Information from the Raptor Alliance.

On the 5th February 2021 a meeting between the Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Pigeon Racing- Craig Williams MP for Montgomeryshire, DEFRA minister and senior DEFRA officials took place. At this meeting the APPG Chair raised the issues we are experiencing with the rising bird of prey population and specifically the artificial breeding sites used to support Falcons in towns and cities. The DEFRA minister was sympathetic towards the issues experienced by pigeon fanciers and has agreed to facilitate further discussions with DEFRA officials, APPG , Natural England, RSPB and the Hawk and Owl trust. The aim of these discussions is to work towards a Government endorsed guidance for the siting of raptor nest boxes. This has been seen as a very positive step and we thank Craig Williams MP and Chris Guyver of Pepper Shackleton Wellard Ltd for their continued support.

Colin Clarke – Chair of the Raptor Alliance

R.P.R.A. Information for 2021 Season.

We are sure that everyone is following the updates in relation to Covid 19 and Avian Influenza restrictions to try and get an indication as to when pigeon racing may commence. The devolved Governments provided an update last week and now that the Prime Minister has provided his initial road map out of lockdown we thought it we be the right time to provide an update in relation to the commencement of Racing and Training. While the plan out of lockdown is / will be different within England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland we have taken the following content from the PM’s announcement as a positive step towards the commencement of racing in England. We will monitor the additional information that comes from the devolved Governments and provide updates as and when necessary. From 29 March – (at the earliest) Stay at home guidance be dropped. Significant loosening of how far people can travel but people will be encouraged to minimise travel. Outdoor organised sports will return. Six people or two families can meet outside. From 12th April (at the earliest) One household will be allowed to stay overnight somewhere in the UK. (Indicating wider travel will be permitted) Taking the above into consideration and subject to confirmation by the Prime Minister at the appropriate milestones we envisage that; 1. At the earliest, training would be permitted from 29th March 2021. 2. At the earliest, Racing will commence from 12th April 2021 with race marking etc taking place outside. In preparation for the commencement of racing under these restrictions we will develop and issue guidance similar to that used in 2020. However, In addition to the Covid-19 restrictions we also have to consider the current restrictions in place due to Avian Influenza. The Code of Practice for Pigeon Racing published on the RPRA website will provide a detailed overview https://www.rpra.org/avian-influenza-code-practice-pigeon-racing/.

 A summary of the code is as follows: From December 14th, 2020, when a housing requirement in the AIPZ comes into force in Great Britain, birds will only be allowed out for exercise for up to one hour once each day. You may train birds as a single loft but must not mix birds from other lofts. You must not have an open loft that allows the birds to freely come and go, which would increase the chance of wild birds entering your loft and contaminating it. Part 2 BIRD GATHERINGS – GENERAL LICENCE Please note the General License for bird gatherings was revoked on 11 November 2020. This means that all racing, shows, training, sales, or auctions where birds are physically brought together from multiple lofts are banned until the General License is reinstated. This means that fanciers should not enter another’s loft or premises, footwear/clothing should be clean and not worn at your own loft, and hands washed/hand sanitiser gel used. Questions and answers

Q – Can I train my birds ? A. – No. While the current Avian Influenza code of practice permits single loft training (multiple loft/group training is not allowed as this would be classed as a gathering) the Covid 19 restrictions relating to travel mean that training is currently NOT permitted.

Q – When will I be able to train? A – Subject to confirmation nearer the date, you will be able to train at the earliest from 29th March 2021.

Q – Why can’t I train before 29th March 2021? A – The Government’s stay at home policy will remain in force until at least 29th March 2021.

Q – When will the General license for bird Gatherings be re-instated ? A – There is no real indication towards a date. The CEO is regularly attending the Stakeholder meetings arranged by the APHA and will provide an update as soon as there are any developments.

Q – Will the RPRA be producing guidance for Race Marking, Convoyers, Clock setting etc? A – Yes. This will be developed and issued as soon as possible.

Q – My organisation’s race programme commences prior to the 12th April. What should we do ? A – We will make contact with each convoying organisation to establish a revised race programme.

Q – Is the commencement of racing from 12th April 2021 subject to the General license being reinstated ? A – Yes – without this racing cannot commence.

Ian Evans CEO