British pigeon fanciers lost the privilege of free movement on December 31 when the UK left the transition period of Brexit and the EU single market and customs union. Since the implementation of the new strict measures, which came into effect after a short period of transition, transport as well as obtaining the necessary health certificates have become almost impossible for avid British pigeon fanciers.
Ian Evans, CEO of the Royal Pigeon Association, told Express.co.uk: “I think the EU is exaggerating in terms of the risk associated with carrier pigeons.
“Previous European regulations actually exempt such activity from any animal health requirements when moving from another country to the EU, as they recognized that the risk of spreading disease is almost impossible. “
According to Evans, every British carrier pigeon is vaccinated against Newcastle disease every year and the risk of influenza spreading among birds is minimal.
The Royal Pigeon Association has raised questions as to why the regulations are in place, but they have yet to be answered.
Mr Evans said: “I don’t know why the regulations are in place.
“The EU introduced these new regulations on April 21 this year.
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“Unless we can get delegations and find exemptions from these rules, I think you will see a lot of people stepping away from this sport. “
Mr Evans said his organization had had numerous correspondence with the EU’s director general for health.
But he said no official response had yet been written to the concerns.
“But the long-term goal is to get long-term regulatory changes.
“If we don’t get anything by April of next year, there will be a significant number of people leaving the sport.
“So time is against us. “
The European Union has been contacted by Express.co.uk for comment.