In April 2012, PETA released a 15-month undercover investigation—spanning five states—into some of the largest pigeon-racing operations in the U.S. PETA documented massive casualties of birds during races and training, discovered rampant killing of unwanted birds and abusive training and racing methods and exposed a multimillion-dollar illegal gambling industry.
PETA’s investigators found that in many races, which can be as long as 600 miles, more than 60 percent of the birds get lost or die as a result of extreme weather, predators, electrical lines, hunters, or exhaustion. Races that are particularly fatal—where only a minuscule percentage of birds makes it home—are referred to as “smash races.” In one such race in Queens, New York, only four out of 213 birds returned. At the 2011 American Racing Pigeon Union Convention, only 827 out of the original 2,294 birds survived training flights, only 487 of whom completed the 325-mile race by nightfall.
View the exclusive undercover photos.
Birds who aren’t considered fast enough and aren’t wanted for breeding are typically “culled”— killed by suffocation, drowning, neck-breaking, gassing, or decapitation. PETA documented one world-renowned racer as he admitted that he generally has to buy 12 pigeons for breeding before he finds one he can use in his loft and just kills the others and their offspring. Another racer told investigators that when starting out in pigeon racing, “The first thing you have to learn—how to kill pigeons.”
Like cockfighting and dogfighting, pigeon racing is all about gambling. PETA penetrated racing organizations in which a quarter of a million dollars is bet on a single race and discovered that pigeon racing generates an estimated $15 million a year in illegal gambling proceeds and involves felony violations of federal gambling, racketeering, and tax-evasion laws. The high stakes also lead some flyers to cheat: Investigators found that several racers’ birds tested positive for illegal performance-enhancing drugs, and one racer admitted to shooting federally protected raptors.
20 thoughts on “PETA at it Again – Investigation Exposes Pigeon-Racing Cruelty”
Where was PETA when 20 million Russians, 7 million Germans, 6 million Jews, oh, and lets not forget the Japanese, died, or were murdered, innocent and guilty alike. I don’t mention the allied death toll because we are evil and greedy, and Most importantly, ignorantly tolerant to the point of no return, ie. culturally dead as Americans.
Liberal groups like this one, will only kick the dog when it was the cat all along. These people have no clue what humanity is yet run their mouths about so called inhumane humans.
I love my pigeons and will cull when necessary. Better to die quickly than suffer. I did not hear a complaint when the Hawk was tearing the pigeon apart piece by piece, as the bird looked on? Yes, only humans can be inhumane, right!
Just consider this guy waking up with a severed pigeon head in his bed,
My pigeons are spoiled, they get whatever they want.lol!I love to see them fly around the house & home on race day.That video is a joke.Why don’t they show the grace & beauty of seeing pigeons fly in the sky.Someone always has to ruin what they don’t understand.
There are bad people in every sport and pigeon racing is no exception. Cruelty should not be tolerated and its wouldnt be in our club. My family thinks my birds get more attention than they do and sometimes its true. I know one thing is for sure, you dont get the best out of your birds if you dont treat them right and take care of their needs. Im proud of my little team and I dont think afew bad apples should be allowed to spoil the whole barrel, throw them out. In our club theres no betting on races. I think when money is involved, especially large amounts the humanity is often lost.
muze jyada english nahi aati par me kahna chata hu ki pigeon racing hame aur hamari family and friends ko jodti hai pigeons se .hum unki care karte hai family member jaise.pigeons se hame peace milti hai love milta hai aur hum wahi chahte vhai…
no dont stop racing pigeons but as said before if your caught mistreating your birds you and your family are band for life
as for Peta they loose interest pretty easy there will be a whale beached some where or a cat in a tree or they will stand at the counters where you get your hunting license and try to stop you so dont worry about it
World is changing! Too bad people that eat just plants is supported by big people in industry! Culture is not practice anymore specially here in US it”s ashame! PETA kill more animals than what they make you believed on those footage.
This a tough one-many racing books will tell you to “take the bird to the chopping block”,cull it,kill it,etc.if it doesn’t perform or if it won’t quickly trap after a period of time.I got a bad feeling about the future of pigeon racing after watching this
There is always someone to ruin it all for the rest of us. I love my birds and would never ever hurt them. Pigeons love to fly and they are good at it. As for hawks and so on that is just part of life for any bird and pigeons are not dumb they can servive on there own if they have to ,they just buddy up with the wild pigeons. Some of the people racing there birds are cruel to them,I think if they are found out they should be fined and bared from racing there birds ever again. This is an injoya le hobby and I don’t think because of a few it should be stopped..! Come on people be for real…!!!
Lot of rubbish. SPCA in SA also try to stop racing. We are our own enamies.
So…. What it means we stop racing our pigeons?