Target: Te Hua Lin, Commissioner of Taiwan’s Criminal Investigation Bureau
Goal: Applaud police raid on illegal and cruel pigeon racing clubs.
A nationwide police raid was recently carried out by Taiwan’s Criminal Investigation Bureau (CIB) in an effort to crack down on illegal pigeon racing clubs. The raid followed a PETA investigation that culminated in the submission of evidence and official complaints to the Taiwanese authorities. Millions of pigeons die every year as a result of the gambling clubs’ grueling ship-to-shore races in which the birds are forced to compete.
Every season, clubs take tens of thousands of pigeons out to sea on cargo ships and release them, forcing them to fly enormous distances back to land. The competitions consist of seven races, in which the birds are released at ever-increasing increments of 30 km (starting at 180 km from shore). Less than one percent of the birds that begin the seven-race series live to see the end of it. The other ninety-nine percent – thousands of birds each series – drown from exhaustion and typhoon-strength winds or are killed for being too slow. The pigeons forced to endure this cruel process are young, usually less than a year old.
In 2013, PETA investigators went undercover for six months in one of the biggest pigeon-racing clubs in Taiwan. The investigators collected video footage of club officials admitting to exchanging millions of dollars in illegal bets, as well as horrible treatment of the birds. One video captured by PETA shows thousands of birds disappearing and presumably drowning in just a matter of hours.
The submission of this evidence to the Taiwanese authorities has resulted in a massive police raid that nailed three pigeon racing clubs in Taiwan, the largest in the industry being one of them. More than 4 million dollars were frozen in the clubs’ bank accounts, club officials were arrested, and equipment, computers and other paraphernalia used for the races were seized. Taiwan’s National Police Agency identified pigeon racing as a key priority in a larger effort to curb illegal gambling in Taiwan.
Forcing these creatures to fight for their lives against near-impossible odds effectively amounts to a yearly massacre of these gentle and highly intelligent birds. Sign the petition below and thank Taiwan’s Criminal Investigation Bureau for taking action to dismantle this cruel and illegal industry.
Dear Commissioner Lin,
I want to thank you for taking action to end the illegal and inhumane practice of pigeon racing in Taiwan. Tens of thousands of pigeons are effectively given death sentences in each of these races. For too long these animals have been victims of this barbaric form of entertainment and moneymaking.
Arresting complicit individuals, seizing equipment, and freezing betting money are all powerful moves by the CIB that send a strong statement to the entire industry. You have made it clear that Taiwan will not tolerate this sort of cruel business. There is still more work to be done ensuring that pigeon racing does not persist, but once again, I want to thank you for beginning the process of saving these innocent creatures from unnecessary suffering.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Cano58 via Wikimedia Commons