Letter: Pigeons in distress

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From Mrs H. P. Spittle

Sir: After reading Mike Everett's open letter "Dear pigeon fanciers" (Section Two, 28 November), I am reminded of several occasions when I have seen distressed racing pigeons.

In very hot weather on a canal boating holiday we saw at least two lying on the concrete edge obviously exhausted, looking at the water, but with no hope of reaching it. On another occasion, my son rescued one in a similar state that had been blown many miles off-course in a storm. That one was returned to its owner through its identification tag.

All these would have been easy prey to a passing fox and would have had nothing to do with being caught by birds of prey. Many pigeons must go missing in these sort of circumstances; there seems a very high element of cruelty in the sport of pigeon racing.

Yours faithfully,

Helen Spittle

Watford, Hertfordshire

28 November