Unesco: Cruelty to animals must not become a cultural heritage


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The Association of German Pigeon Breeders is currently making renewed efforts to recognize racing pigeons as a national cultural heritage. The decision for or against admission is expected to be made in December 2020 jointly by the UNESCO Commission, the Conference of Ministers of Education and the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media.

Please ask the Kultusministerkonferenz and the German UNESCO Commission together with us NOT to include racing pigeons in the list of intangible cultural heritage.


Online petition ( https://www.peta.de/brieftaubensport-petition)*

Cruelty to animals is not a culture – carrier pigeons must not become a cultural heritage

Dear Sirs and Madames,

I am concerned to note that racing pigeons could be included in the nationwide list of intangible cultural heritage in 2020. Due to significant animal welfare aspects, I would like to ask you not to take this step.

As part of pigeon races, the animals are often required to achieve maximum performance that exceeds their strength. Pigeons who do not reach the goal or cannot find their way back to their home stroke have little chance of survival due to their conditioning on special food. In addition, they can contribute to the enlargement and thus the suffering of urban pigeon populations living in cities.

According to the breeders’ own information, the “losses” in pigeon races are 20 to 25 percent of the pigeons per season. Pigeon expert Dr. med. vet. Warzecha et al. even put loss rates of 53 percent on average in one study.
“Animal consumption” of this magnitude in the course of a hobby is highly unethical and should disqualify the pigeon races as a candidate for cultural heritage.

tote Brieftaube

The animal welfare problem is a worldwide phenomenon: According to a study by the Swiss Animal Welfare Agency (STS), the loss rates for examined races in Switzerland are around 75 percent.
According to a report by the NRW authority LANUV (2019), “at least 50 percent of the pigeons delivered were lost during the settling-in and racing phase” during a flight season during a grandstand flight in North Rhine-Westphalia reported by PETA.

The breeders use the loyalty of the animals to their partner, their offspring and their home streak to ensure that pigeons achieve top performance when racing.

2 schwarze tauben

In this way, pairs of pigeons are deliberately separated from one another using the so-called “widower method”. The so-called “nest method” describes the separation of a parent from the partner and the already hatched offspring. Countless pigeons die annoyingly in the races each year due to dehydration, exhaustion or injuries.


Birds that fall short of breeders’ expectations and are unsuitable for further breeding are often killed without anesthesia. To do this, the breeders pull on the pigeon’s neck or turn the head of the animals until death occurs.

I very much hope for your renewed decision that racing pigeons are neither justifiable nor responsible in a modern society with moral principles and in a country in which animal welfare has a constitutional status – not even under the guise of “tradition”.

I would therefore ask you not to continue to include carrier pigeons in the nationwide list of intangible cultural heritage.

Sincerely yours

* https://www.peta.de/brieftaubensport-petition


And I mean…For the races, the animals are transported from the criminal pigeon keeper hundreds to thousands of kilometers away from their home. They take advantage of the despair of their animals who want to fly back to their home and to their families as quickly as possible.

Many of these sensitive and loving animals die from lack of fluids, hunger, exhaustion or injuries during the long flights.
Those who are “lucky” and arrive alive end up on the street and feed on trash leftovers that often cause illness and death.

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After all, how can anyone seriously come to the conclusion that such a criminal business should be protected as a “cultural heritage”?
And who is so mentally and morally carbage who wants to live in a society in which cruelty to animals is celebrated and held up as a cultural heritage?

On November 7, 2013, the Senate in Madrid put the bloody spectacle of bullfighting under special protection with a new law and declared it an “intangible cultural asset” (!!!).

Spain should be ashamed of it for eterna, and it will also be a shame for Germany if a similar bloody sport is recognized as a cultural heritage.

My best  r egards to all, Venus

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