The Australian National Pigeon Association (ANPA) advises members to adhere to strict biosecurity protocols during the current Reo virus outbreak in Victoria. This includes no inter loft movement of pigeons or fanciers.
ANPA represents exhibition hobbyists throughout Australia who focus on breeding many varieties to achieve a standard of perfection assessed by judges at specialist and agricultural shows. Birds are domesticated, often valuable, and the result of generations of stud building by fanciers.
ANPA President Frank Hayes said the association’s committee was asking its 300-plus members and affiliated club members to follow the advice of Dr Colin Walker of Melbourne Bird Vet, who has been proactive in investigating the outbreak and the nature of the virus since it first appeared in WA early last year.
The Australian National Racing Pigeon Board is similarly advising their members to follow Dr Walker's advice.
“Colin Walker is not only a leading avian vet, he is a pigeon fancier who has won numerous awards for his birds at national level and who has published widely on pigeon health and disease treatment. He was the key to achieving a successful protocol for the control of PMV1,” Mr Hayes said.
“We all understand the concern and emotions of pigeon fanciers while research is still underway and answers and possible treatments have still to be determined. Inevitably there has been a lot of discussion and theories circulating in various online forums. ANPA is committed to limiting the spread of this virus.
“But until we have firm information, the best thing pigeon fanciers can do is to follow Dr Walker’s advice, which is basically to keep all pigeons in their lofts and to refrain from visiting the lofts of others.
Mr Hayes said the association would not make any recommendations about the 2017 show season or the ANPA National Show scheduled to be held in Adelaide in July until it was determined if a vaccine for Reo virus used on poultry would be effective on pigeons.
He said Dr Walker expected to have an answer in about two weeks.