Update: Following PETA’s investigation, three race organizers—including the executive director of the American Racing Pigeon Union, the largest pigeon-racing organization in the country—were charged with violations of Oklahoma’s felony gambling laws. All three defendants pleaded no contest to charges of commercial gambling—the first time in history that anyone has been held responsible for illegal conduct associated with cruel pigeon races. These prosecutions should stand as a warning for anyone looking to profit from pigeons’ misery: There are consequences to gambling with birds’ lives!
Over a span of two months, PETA went undercover
into the world of pigeon
racing in the United Kingdom and discovered believed
illegal activity and deadly outcomes for hundreds of thousands of birds during a single racing season. PETA investigated all the major pigeon-racing organizations in the U.K. and documented British pigeon races starting in the Channel Islands, France, and Spain. These races across the English Channel are so deadly that they are often called "graveyard" races.