Police, DA personnel intercept 400 pigeons intended for ‘racing’ in Cagayan

Published July 5, 2022, 2:19 PM

by Liezle Basa Iñigo

CAMP TIRSO H GADOR, Tuguegarao City – Three individuals were arrested after failing to show any legal documents for carrying about 400 pigeons on Sunday, July 3, in Barangay Capacuan, Sta. Praxedes, Cagayan.

The three suspects were identified as alias Justine, 29, driver; alias Jessie, 40, both residents of Sangandaan Barangay 4, Caloocan City; and alias Arnold, 19, of Letre, Barangay Tonsuya, Malabon City.

Based on the reports, around 3:11 a.m. on July 3, 2022, personnel from the Department of Agriculture and the Philippine National Police personnel in San Juan, Sta Praxedes, Cagayan chanced upon a white L300 van loaded with approximately 400 racing pigeons.

The suspects allegedly failed to present any legal document for carrying said pigeons which resulted in their arrest.

The three individuals were arrested allegedly for violating R.A. 10631 as amended by R.A. 8485 or The Animal Welfare Act of 1998.

The DA has been closely monitoring the movements of livestock amid threats of the Avian Influenza.

The DA in fact has issued Memorandum Circular No. 5 that prescribes the ‘Guidelines on the local movement of domestic and wild birds and poultry products and by-products during the Avian Influenza surveillance period.’

The said pigeons will be subjected to avian influenza virus test while the suspects are in the custody of Sta. Praxedes Police for further investigation.

The pigeons came from the city of Malabon, Caloocan, and Metro Manila, and according to the arrested individuals, they were instructed to release the pigeons in the town of Claveria, Cagayan.

Pigeons are being used by sports enthusiasts in the so-called Pigeon racing, a ‘sport of releasing specially trained homing pigeons which then return to their homes over a carefully measured distance.’

‘The time it takes the animal to cover the specified distance is measured and the bird’s rate of travel is calculated and compared with all of the other pigeons in the race to determine which animal returned at the highest speed.’