Australian National Racing Pigeon Board – Press Release – 4.00pm – 4 January – 6 January 3.00pm 2017

 

 

 

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Press Release – 4.00pm – 4 January 2017
To: The Management Committees of All Australian Racing Pigeon Federations, Combine
Entities, One-Loft Races and Fancy Pigeon Associations.
Re: Update: Reo-virus outbreak 13 December 2016, Victoria
The purpose of this communication is to provide information to Racing Pigeon Federations so
that they can inform their members of:
· Details of the virus: Testing, diagnosis and next steps
· Biosecurity measures each member needs to undertake
· The role of the Australian National Racing Pigeon Board (ANRPB) and funding for
trials and vaccine
1. Details of the virus: Testing, diagnosis and next steps
In May 2016 a virus outbreak occurred in WA which was thought to be Adino-virus.
Unfortunately, many birds died. Affected surviving birds were now carriers, by agreement for
Bio-security purposes, all movement / shipments to the Eastern States from WA were banned
until 31 December 2016.
In early December 2016 birds were unfortunately shipped from WA to Victoria. Almost
immediately an outbreak occurred. What was determined very quickly was that these newly
affected birds did not have: Adino-virus, PMV1, Herpes, but had another virus. Testing from
16 December through to 31 December has now revealed the virus is indeed a strain of Reovirus.
Testing has confirmed that the Victorian virus and the WA virus are the same and are a
form of Reo-virus; not Adino-virus as previously reported.
For a detailed account of the timeline and information pertaining to this virus outbreak please
refer to Dr. Colin Walker’s website, pigeon virus update page. www.melbournebirdvet.com
Or direct link:
http://www.melbournebirdvet.com/pigeon-virus-update.aspx
Key points:
· Immediate: Diagnostic work continues – Agri-bio, AAHL
· Immediate: We must control spread of the virus – strict bio-security measures – no
inter-loft movement of bird or fanciers
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· Medium: Develop tentative immune protocol to offer fanciers some means of
protecting birds
· Longer: trial to develop “best” and proven method of protecting birds
2. Biosecurity measures each member needs to undertake
On Friday 16 December the ANRPB posted on its website the following Biosecurity measures.
These measures remain in place and should be adhered to until further notice by all pigeon
flyers, no matter where you live.
· Do not introduce new pigeons into your yard
· Do not allow your pigeons to mix with other pigeons
· Avoid visiting other pigeon lofts
It is also an appropriate time to reinforce the protocols for all flyers and pigeon keepers to
vaccinate for PMV1. This is essential. Recently we have had cases around the country of PMV1
outbreaks, which is totally unnecessary.
3. The role of the Australian National Racing Pigeon Board (ANRPB) and funding for trials
and vaccine
The ANRPB is still in its infancy. Its role is very much at a macro-level dealing with priorities
such as Animal Health Australia – AHA (Australian Government) pertaining to the
development of a welfare based National Code of Practice; this is well underway. The ANRPB
at this time has no mandate to dictate to Federations, Clubs or indeed members within the
pigeon fraternity about constitutional or racing matters. This is for the Federations and Club
entities. The ANRPB in the short-medium term will provide guidance and best practice
recommendations, all of which will be pigeon welfare centric. This was all discussed at the
ANRPB National Convention in Canberra 19 November 2016. See www.anrpb.org for details
of presentations which can be downloaded.
What will the ANRPB do as regards Reo-virus? The ANRPB will support Dr. Colin Walker and
others involved in the testing, diagnosis, trials and quest for a suitable vaccine. This includes
being a point of contact to assist with funds on behalf of the Australian Pigeon fraternity to
enable testing and trails to be undertaken so we can hopefully obtain a vaccine.
Separately we will be writing to all Federations requesting a financial contribution from the
Federations equivalent to a notional amount of $20 per member as a first tranche of fund
raising for the Reo-virus work. Further details will follow regarding this. Please keep a close
eye on: www.anrpb.org
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Please stay in touch with your state based ANRPB board member:
VIC Graham Wark
NSW / ACT Mark Jeffrey
QLD Len Vanderlinde
SA / NT Greg Kakoschke
TAS Peter Wallace
WA Kevin Wilson
They can be contacted by email: enquiries@anrpb.org
I would encourage all pigeon fanciers to register their personal details on our website, in the
contact section, so we can email you directly with updates and latest information.
In summary:
This is a difficult time for the Australian Racing Pigeon and Fancy Pigeon fraternity. Five-years
ago when the PMV1 outbreak occurred we were in a similar time of adversity regarding our
beloved pigeons. We worked through this. We dealt with the facts. We supported the science.
We arrived at a solution… the PMV1 vaccine and the protocols around this has ensured we
have been able to manage this disease and race freely and competitively. Our desire is to
create the same outcome for this new Reo-virus. We are using the same scientific team and
bodies for Reo-virus as we did with PMV1. Diagnostic testing is happening. Dr Walker is in
touch with local and overseas suppliers of vaccines. Local trials will need to happen. Funding
for this will be required, all as was done for PMV1.
Please be patient. Please be supportive. Please follow the Bio-security protocols detailed
herein. We need a unified approach from the pigeon fraternity at this time. Faceless people
on forum’s and other mediums deriding the work being done does not add any value; please
refrain if you are one of these people.
This is perfect time for all pigeon fanciers in Australia to come together, support each other
and to be positive about the work being done to determine a solution for this current Reovirus
outbreak across many parts of Australia.
If you wish to take an active role in the ANRPB please email your local Board member. If you
want to help other flyers to vaccinate for PMV1 work in your clubs and Fed’s. Many of our
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older members may need some assistance in this regard. Please contact your Fed’s to see how
you can help.
All the very best for 2017.
Yours sincerely
For and on behalf of the Australian National Racing Pigeon Board
Stephen Eggleton
Chair – ANRPB

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Press Release – 3.00pm – 6 January 2017
To: The Management Committees of All Australian Racing Pigeon Federations, Combine
Entities, One-Loft Races and Fancy Pigeon Associations.
Re: Update 2: Highly infectious, emerging pigeon disease – Reo-virus outbreak in Australia.
Further to the ANRPB press release of 4 January 2017, the following update applies:
1. Further diagnostic testing is in progress. Results are expected by mid-January. As
advised by NSW DPI 5 January 2017 “It’s possible that some poultry vaccines will be
of assistance in the management of this disease. In the meantime, biosecurity
measures are critical to prevent the spread of this disease until a long-term solution
can be determined”. Please remain positive and refer to daily updates on-line:
http://www.melbournebirdvet.com/pigeon-virus-update.aspx
2. The following Biosecurity measures remain in place and must be adhered to until
further notice by all pigeon flyers, no matter where you live.
a. Do not introduce new pigeons into your yard
b. Do not allow your pigeons to mix with other pigeons
c. Avoid visiting other pigeon lofts
3. On 4 January an article was posted on-line (which has since been taken down)
which suggested deliberate loft infection with the Reo-virus. The Australian
National Racing Pigeon Board does NOT support nor condone this suggestion. This
practice if introduced would spread the Reo-virus far and wide and may result in
the deaths of many thousands of racing and fancy pigeons in this country. From a
pigeon welfare perspective this suggestion is totally unacceptable and indeed
contrary to the very code of practice for the welfare of our pigeons we are
currently developing within the ANRPB; in response the Federal Government AHA
overhaul of animal welfare standards in this country. The ANRPB will be seeking
the strongest disciplinary measures possible by Federation entities to ensure pigeon
membership do not actively put their flocks or other member’s flocks at risk. Please
abide by the above Bio-security measures.
Yours sincerely
For and on behalf of the Australian National Racing Pigeon Board
Stephen Eggleton
Chair – ANRPB



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