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

Information on exercising pigeons 8th February from DAERA N.I.

Hi Everyone
This is the latest information I have received from the dept it contains some good news for pigeon fanciers, unfortunately not so good for racing at present, hopefully this will change if no further outbreaks of Avian are confirmed

As you will be aware there is an Avian Influenza Prevention Zone (AIPZ) in place across Northern Ireland – further information is available here.

In addition two commercial poultry holdings have been confirmed as highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) H5N8 near Clough and Lisburn – further information available here.

As part of the risk mitigation measures taken at these premises disease control zones (Protection Zone (PZ) Surveillance Zone (SZ)) were put in place around these premises which are scheduled to be removed 10 and 11 February 2021 respectively.

If your birds are within a disease control zone, make sure you check the restrictions applicable to that zone.

You can exercise, train and race pigeons or fly birds of prey, but you should try to prevent them from making direct contact with wildfowl. Bird gatherings are not allowed to take place anywhere in NI. You can fly pigeons that already live together, in an AIPZ. However, birds that are not already housed together/on the same premises should not be flown together, as this constitutes a bird gathering.

You can exercise your racing pigeons for up to one hour once each day while an AIPZ with housing measures in force, but they should avoid direct contact with wild birds. You may train birds as a single loft, but must not mix birds from other lofts. You cannot do this if you are in a PZ or SZ.

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.

In general terms to reduce the risk of your birds becoming infected with Avian Influenza, you should take steps to avoid your birds coming in to contact with wild birds, or their faeces/body fluids:

• You should focus on ensuring a high level of cleanliness (biosecurity) in your lofts, particularly if you also keep poultry – chickens, hens, ducks, geese, turkeys, game birds and guinea fowl – and should follow the advice in biosecurity guidance documents available on government websites.

• You should undertake vermin (rats and mice) control to reduce their contact with feed and water for pigeons.

• Your birds should, where practicable, receive mains or treated water that is not accessible to wild birds or poultry to reduce the risk of contamination.

• You should ensure your baskets are as clean as practicable when you are using them to transport birds to other locations. They should be disinfected regularly during the racing season.

• You should consider cleaning the feet of your birds before transporting them to other locations, particularly for shows, races and sales.

• If you also keep other poultry, including a few chickens or ducks, ensure that your pigeons neither mix with such poultry nor have access to their food and water, in order to reduce the risk of spreading disease.

• Any vehicles / trailers used to transport pigeons must be cleansed and disinfected using Government approved disinfectant, between transports


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

N.I.P.A. Proposed 2021 Race Programme

The proposed programme is subject to change at anytime.


SATURDAY        10TH   APRIL    2021        MULLINGAR

SATURDAY        17TH   APRIL    2021        TULLAMORE

SATURDAY        24TH   APRIL    2021        ROSCREA

SATURDAY        01ST    MAY     2021        GOWRAN PARK

SATURDAY        08TH    MAY    2021         FERMOY

SATURDAY        15TH    MAY     2021       CASTLETOWN


SATURDAY        22ND   MAY     2021         FERMOY

SATURDAY        29TH    MAY     2021         TALBENNY

SATURDAY        05TH    JUNE     2021        TALBENNY


SATURDAY        12TH    JUNE     2021        BUDE



SATURDAY        19TH    JUNE     2021        FERMOY



SATURDAY         17TH    JULY     2021        AREA LIBERATIONS

SATURDAY         24TH    JULY     2021        AREA LIBERATIONS

SATURDAY         31ST     JULY     2021        ROSCREA   MASS LIBERATION

SATURDAY         07TH    AUGUST   2021     GOWRAN PARK

SATURDAY         14TH    AUGUST    2021    FERMOY

SATURDAY         21ST    AUGUST    2021     FERMOY & FERMOY 5 BIRD


SATURDAY         28TH    AUGUST   2021     ROSCREA

SATURDAY         04TH    SEPTEMBER    2021      CORRIN



Fred Russell N.I.P.A. Secretary