On a Wing and a Prayer: Pigeons’ Cross-Channel Ordeal Saddens Dame Vera
Dame Vera Lynn knows all about war heroes – after all, the much-loved singer made her name by cheering up the British troops during World World II. So she was understandably distressed to learn how British pigeons, loyal birds who served their country by delivering vital messages during both world wars, are being ruthlessly exploited by the pigeon-racing industry.
The “Forces’ sweetheart”, who also abhors inhumane foie gras, expressed her dismay after seeing PETA US’ exposé of the high death rates and ill-treatment of birds during cross-Channel races. “Separating pigeons from their mates and forcing them to fly, exhausted, across the vast Channel is an utterly cruel pastime”, she explains. “With hundreds of thousands of birds lost at sea each year, the Channel has become a veritable bird graveyard for these forgotten heroes.”
Tens of thousands of birds are shipped to the continent each year in appalling conditions before being forced to fly almost 1,500 kilometres in a punishing journey home. Most of the pigeons don’t make it. They die of exhaustion along the way, crashing into the Channel, and never get to see the white cliffs of Dover again or be reunited with their loved ones.
For anyone with a heart, pigeon racing is an affront to national pride. Please join Dame Vera in taking a stand against this truly callous industry, which makes millions of pounds each year from abusing birds. Contact Defra and ask it to put a stop to this so-called “sport”.