From acting ANPA Secretary Dave Willans: As you may be aware, the 2017 National Show to be hosted by Adelaide has been cancelled. This was the result of the ongoing spread of a new and deadly Rota virus in pigeons in Australia which as yet has no proven control. This very serious situation is regretful but necessary. There is no record of this virus elsewhere in the world.
It is requested that all ANPA affiliated Clubs cancel all pigeon shows until further notice in a concerted effort to limit the spread of the virus. It has already been confirmed in four States with reported mortality rates up to 40%., some much higher. Strict biosecurity by every fancier is required including no movement or flying out of their pigeons and no loft visits. It is also recommended that any meetings not be held in regular pigeon rooms and that all attendees thoroughly wash their hands and change their clothes and footwear after feeding their birds before attending meetings. It is also likely that Australian pigeons will be prohibited from leaving international airports.
Dr Colin Walker has been proactive in arranging accurate identification of the virus and subsequent testing regimes for suitable vaccines with authorities as he did for the PMV in 2012/13. Although this new disease first appeared in WA in May 2016, it was not finally diagnosed until earlier this week in Victoria. In the meantime there have been many unsubstantiated theories as to solving the issue which has delayed any proper process.
Currently an animal vaccine is being tested for potential cross immunity. Beyond that we are only guessing at a time frame to get us back to showing our pigeons. It will take a dedicated effort and as before will cost significantly. Colin is again providing his driving and coordination services for free but testing and vaccine assessments by others are costing.
A Rota “war chest” has been set up by the Australian National Racing Pigeon Board (ANRPB) and it is anticipated that ANPA will contribute some funding as before for this national issue. Last time with the PMV fund which cost about $40,000, ANPA and the Victorian Show Pigeon Federation donated $1,000 & $500 respectively. No other ANPA affiliated Clubs donated. The remainder was basically from racing fanciers/clubs. This did not hurt any of our member’s hip pockets and at the end of the day, Colin arranged for the donations to be refunded in full thanks to vaccine manufacturers buying the test results.
To ensure every affiliated Club wears some responsibility and raises awareness, it would be prudent this time that every Club contribute an amount they can afford. If all affiliated Clubs can offer say $100 each, the resulting $3,000+ will be a significant contribution in addition to a proposed $2,000 contribution from ANPA.
Cheques can be posted to: ANRPB Inc. Hon Treasurer, Mr. Grant Paterson, 1/25 Halloran Drive,
Jerrabomberra, NSW, 2619. Donations will be receipted & publicly acknowledged on www.anrpb.org web site.