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07.05.2003 Geflügelpest
Verbandsmitteilung - Brief an die Veterinärausschuß der EU.

Members of the vetenarian commission EU, Brüssel

Ladies and Gentlemen!

Due to the Situation of "avian ifluenza" in the Netherlands and Belgium it is presently obligatory in Germany to have all events involving "avian influenza" approved, based on the "Bundesverordnung.zum Schutz der Verschleppung der klassischen Geflügelpest" (Federal decree to avoid dispersal of the classical poultry plague).

This may also include the execution of pigeon races. Presently the veterinary authorities usually deny exemptions.

Only in the federal states Rheinland-Pfalz, Sachsen-Anhalt, but also Nordrhein-Westfalen (Kleve) individual exemptions were made in some exceptional cases.

We kindly ask you to recommend cancellation of these restrictions in your meeting tomorrow. In our opinion the following arguments justify this Step:

there is still no case of "avian influenza" in Germany

the Situation in the Netherlands and Belgium has clearly improved, there has been no new case for the last 10 days

there are scientific studies, which rule out contagiousness by racing pigeons (USA, B-Gent) or at least consider it to be very unlikely (universities of Munich, Leipzig, Hanover)

the German racing pigeon association mstructed their race-organisers not to statt any races from the Netherlands or Belgium and to choose their race-starting-points in such a way, that these regions will not be crossed. In Belgium pigeon races have been allowed again since 26l of April.

Apart from this the following general conditions are Standard for pigeon races:

the participants of pigeon races live in a geographically very limited region (usually in a radius of approx. 15 km)

the transport vehicles for pigeon races are only used for the transport of pigeons

these trucks are disinfected after every race

all pigeons get a precautionary vaccination against the agent of the Newcastle-disease flights of the pigeons from their dovecotes are very restricted (rule: the pigeon is either in the air or at its dovecote)
We are sure, that the very good conditions of livestock farming, the environmental conditions for the execution of races as well as the total Situation of "avian influenza" have to lead to the immediate release of races.
We kindly ask you to comply with our request and to recommend during your meeting in Brüssels on 7th May 2003 the cancellation of obligatory approval for pigeon races in Germany.

Essen, den 6. Mai 2003
Peter Kocks
Best regards


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