Pigeon fanciers have called for General Licences to be changed to allow for the culling of certain birds of prey, after a series of attacks on racing pigeon.

A petition on the website of the Royal Pigeon Racing Association (RPRA) asks for the licences to be altered, so that the number of sparrowhawks and peregrine falcons can be managed to prevent serious and irreversible harm to the sport of pigeon racing.

RPRA council member Jim Hooper told Shooting Times: ?Our sport is being decimated by the birds of prey. We?re witnessing attacks when we release birds from the lofts for exercising and when birds come home from racing or training.

The birds are ripped so badly that it?s a miracle that some of them get home. ?The RSPB has lost control. There are so many raptors out there now that we?ve decided that something had to be done. The petition has gone out to every club in the country and we?ve had a marvellous response. We?ve had enough ? it?s ruining our sport.?

The rest of this article appears in 16th February issue of Shooting Times.

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