Masako Evans wants pigeon racing banned in Delta.
The Ladner resident and registered veterinary technican has launched an online petition at change.org that is closing in on 1,000 signatures thus far.
“It’s something that’s been going on here for quite some time. The last year especially has seen an increase in the number of pigeons found by the community,” explained Evans. “In the past, there was usually one, two, three pigeons that would get lost. Last race about 80 pigeons went loose because a bunch of Hawks dive bombed the start because they realized where they released them. It’s easy pickings for them.”
The trained pigeons are generally banded and have a special chip for timing. From a measured distance they are released from a field and fly their way back home. That’s unless prey happens to disrupt the racing.
“I just don’t think Delta is an appropriate place to release them,” continued Evans. “We are right on the Fraser estuary. There are tons of rivers and different things that come together. It’s a big spawning ground for salmon and then there’s the garbage dump and tons of fields too. It’s a huge breeding ground for raptors and an over wintering site for the different breeds that migrate. It is a pretty dangerous place.
“I feel bad for the pigeons because they are totally domesticated and reliant on people. It doesn’t look good for the pigeon racing community and the community that we live in when we are constantly picking up these pigeons. People are jumping into yards to get their pigeons back too. All these different things that are happening isn’t very good. I am into animal sport. I have horses and dogs. I show and do things. I believe in animal sport but I believe in doing it appropriately.”
Evans said the lost pigeons have also led to extra work for the Delta Animal Shelter. Birds have been retrieved and brought back to the facility where the owners are contacted unless they are not tagged.