Swiss army sacks carrier pigeons

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The Independent Online
Berne - About 30,000 pigeons are being discharged from the Swiss army. The army's carrier pigeon service will be disbanded next year under measures aimed at cutting military costs, the defence ministry announced. The army owns 7,000 pigeons and pays for the private care of a further 24,000 kept ready for any emergency. Shutting down the 77-year- old carrier pigeon service will save the army about 600,000 Swiss francs ( pounds 300,000). The birds could cover round trips of up to 500 miles carrying messages, tape recordings and microfilm. Reuter