Animals are not ours to experiment on, eat, wear, use for entertainment, or abuse in any other way.

Urge Queen to Cut Ties With Cruel and Deadly Smash Pigeon Races

Shocking footage from a PETA US undercover investigation into the South African Million Dollar Pigeon Race (SAMDPR) reveals that pigeons suffering from diseases are forced to race over 370 miles in 33-degree heat. The Queen sends pigeons to this deadly race every year.

Most of the birds forced to fly in these contests are never seen again, dying from disease, exhaustion, attacks by predators, dehydration, or starvation. Those who survive are destined to become "prisoners", forced to mate – often with their own offspring or siblings – and never allowed to fly free again. On average, just 22% of the birds entered into the SAMDPR survive.

The Queen has a pigeon loft at the Sandringham Estate, where she breeds scores of pigeons each year to race or auction as "prisoners". She enters her pigeons into extremely long and dangerous races, from which most never return. All eight of the birds Her Majesty shipped to South Africa for the 2020 SAMDPR died in quarantine ahead of the competition, and in the last six years, only five of her 42 birds survived the race. 

Footage also reveals that her pigeons are entered into other long and deadly races, including several that involve crossing the English Channel – which is fatal for the majority of the birds, who fly too close to the water's surface and are swept under or, exhausted, drop out of the sky and drown. 

Take Action Now

Call on the Queen to end her involvement in this cruel "sport"! Please ask Her Majesty to withdraw her patronage from all pigeon-racing organisations and urge her to convert her Sandringham loft from a pigeon-breeding mill into a sanctuary for lost, injured, and unwanted pigeons.

Sign the Petition

Your Majesty, 

We, the undersigned, were shocked to learn that every year, the royal loft at Sandringham sends pigeons to their deaths in long and dangerous races in which many – often most – perish. 

Footage from a PETA US investigation into the South African Million Dollar Pigeon Race reveals that pigeons entered into the competition die of diseases that spread through the quarantine loft, that sick birds are still forced to race, and that in the main race, pigeons are forced to fly up to 370 miles under the sweltering South African sun. Out of the 42 birds Your Majesty sent to the event in the last six years, only five finished alive. Those who did not die of disease in quarantine likely succumbed to exhaustion, attacks by predators, dehydration, or starvation during the races.

Pigeons, also known as "rock doves", are intelligent, gentle, loyal birds. They have honourably served the military, delivering vital messages in the most dangerous of conditions. This has earned them more Dickin Medals (animals' Victoria Cross) than any other species. Exploiting their extraordinary homing abilities for entertainment or bragging rights is inhumane. This tradition isn't a sport – it's cruelty to animals.

We respectfully urge you to end your patronage of all pigeon races and associated organisations and to turn the Sandringham pigeon-breeding mill into a sanctuary where lost, injured, and unwanted pigeons can spend the rest of their lives in peace.  

Yours sincerely, 

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