PETA’s Anniversary Present to the Queen Is … a Rescued Pigeon!

PETA’s Anniversary Present to the Queen Is … a Rescued Pigeon!

The Group Is Encouraging Her Majesty to Cut Ties With Deadly Pigeon Racing

London – Today, in honour of the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh’s 73rd wedding anniversary, PETA has renamed a rescued pigeon Elizabeth. The bird was rescued and is being cared for by the Wildlife Rescue & Animal Ambulance Service in Enfield. The group hopes the gift will encourage Her Majesty to end her participation in and patronage of cruel pigeon racing.

“Just like the Queen and Prince Philip, pigeons are caring parents and devoted mates. These loyal birds suffer tremendously when separated from their companion to be used for racing, as the high death toll means they may never be reunited,” says PETA Director Elisa Allen. “PETA is respectfully urging Her Majesty to stop sending birds to their deaths for this heartless ‘sport’.”

A recent PETA US investigation revealed that pigeons die by the thousands at the South African Million Dollar Pigeon Race. Every one of the eight birds sent by the Queen to participate in the 2020 race died in the quarantine period, during which stressed birds from all over the world are grouped together in the same loft, with the potential to transmit diseases, including zoonotic ones, to one another. Those who survive are forced into long training sessions under the blazing South African sun, and many become disorientated and die from exhaustion, dehydration, or starvation. Less than a quarter of the pigeons who enter the race series complete it.

PETA – whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment” and which opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview – has held protests outside Windsor Castle and the Tower of London and enlisted the support of leading human rights barrister Michael Mansfield QC to push the Queen to end her involvement in pigeon racing.

High-res photos are available here. For more information, please visit or follow the group on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.


Jennifer White +44 (0) 20 7837 6327; [email protected]