Did you know that Taiwan holds deadly pigeon races in which typically fewer than 1 percent of the pigeons starting the races actually survive after one racing season?
Taiwan has pigeon-racing clubs where the months-old pigeons [very young birds] are forced to try to navigate hundreds of miles over open ocean, even when the weather is bad, to try to return to their home lofts. Pigeons are often flown in races without any rest in between them. PETA investigators recorded one particular race where tens of thousands of pigeons lost their lives in typhoon-strength winds. The birds were being battered and crashed into boats and into the water with many dying. Also, if the pigeons don't finish a race fast enough, handlers often resort to killing the birds. Most racing pigeons are dead before their first year of life.
Illegal gambling is the main driving force behind the pigeon races where gamblers pay up to $100,000 for imported breeder birds.
According to PETA, pigeons mate for life, are caring parents, intelligent, and personable birds. Research has shown that pigeons can identify people by how they look and behave, and that pigeons can learn to recognize all 26 letters in the English alphabet, understand basic math and have other intelligent capabilities. Pigeon mates often take turns nesting their eggs, and racers may exploit these nurturing qualities by separating the birds from their mates, eggs and nestlings so that they will try to race back to their families with every ounce of strength they have, no matter the danger.
If you want to help end this cruel and inhuman practice of pigeon racing, contact the Taiwanese government and ask them to investigate and prosecute people who run these illegal gambling practices:
The Honourable Wang Cho-chiun
National Policy Agency
Ministry of the Interior
No. 7, Sec. 1, Jhongsiao E. Rd.
Taipei City 10058