Pigeon races are not romantic and not athletic – they are animal cruelty, death, and money making!




Yesterday I found a very nice article about the “romantic” pigeon flights as a sport.

A cruel sport by the way. But this article should also open the eyes of everyone who wants to decorate his wedding with the flight of (mostly) white pigeons.

Today we have internet, we have information, and nobody can say “ah, I did not know it”.

Here is the article with the link at the end:

How do “pigeon races” work? Is not it astonishing how the breeders persuade the animals to travel enormous distances to exhaustion? Daily distances of 700 kilometers? The resolution is as simple as shocking: So that the pigeons perform at their best, but often exceed their powers, their owners use perfidious methods.
For the racing flights, pigeon owners use the loyalty of the animals. Pigeons are very close to their home beat, their partner and their offspring.

Dove couples stay together all their lives and the connection is very close. So, what does a dove do that snatches her partner away from her offspring and finds herself far away from a safe home beat in completely unknown surroundings? Correct! She will try to go back to where she is, what she loves more than her own life. Yearning, lovesickness and concern for the offspring, serves the “performance increase” immensely.

The owners take advantage of the desperation of their animals to return as quickly as possible to their homes and their families. Who calls this sport as “romantic” may not have understood a crucial point:
In the “widower method” pigeon pairs are separated from each other.

This method has prevailed nationwide for the “normal flight program”, according to breeders. The “nesting method” describes the separation of a parent from the partner and the newly hatched offspring.

Both means enormous stress for the animals.
Experts believe that between 10 and more than 50 percent of the pigeons that are transported away from their home for betting flights, do not return to their partner, their offspring. They strand as homeless animals on the streets of foreign cities, land in animal welfare, most of them die agonizingly.


Owners and organizers find this perfectly acceptable. They calculate these “losses”.

After all, this “romantic sport” is not about the animals, but about awards and prizes. There are hundreds of thousands of pigeons that suffer a painful death every year on the races. Dehydration, fatigue, injury … or starving to death in one of our inner cities. Pigeons that have just made it home are often broken in body and soul. “

But even if they have survived the ordeal, even if they have found their way back to their partner: Home-born pigeons are not safe in their lives, because the official breeding goal of the Association of German Pigeon Breeders aims at physical performance and the attainment of top speeds of 130 km / h. Animals that could not provide these services or show a lack of sense of direction that has fled are killed by the owners.

The killing of the rejected pigeons happens incidentally with full awareness. The pigeon’s neck is pulled long and the head is turned over. Execution for lack of performance is carried out by the breeder himself.

One may think of this sport as one likes: it has nothing to do with love of animals and romance. The sensitive and intelligent birds are degraded to the disposable.

But there are also some who plan the most beautiful day of their life, a wedding, with the use of white doves. They should symbolize peace and loyalty and complete the romantic staging.
Before you decide, you should know what this harmless custom can mean for the pigeons.

In fact, the birds who would never voluntarily abandon their home beat are exposed to it. They are torn from their homeland beat, transported to unknown places and often have to spend a very long time in confined spaces without food and water, before they are taken by strangers in the hand (which is extremely scary for the animals) and finally you leave they fly. There are many dubious providers, some even send the pigeons for this purpose and accept that the animals are left to themselves for days without any supply in the small cages.

Therefore, please: do not decorate a wedding or other celebration with the flight of white doves.

Pigeons are not balloons, but sensitive, intelligent animals. Like every animal.

Best regards to all



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