COMED is sustainable in a turbulent world.

Our pigeon sport has its concerns, which deserves all attention.

The environmental impact.

Heat records are being broken all the time. Our weather is breaking historical records year after year, and too many world leaders are allowing it to happen. Not the least of these is Bolsenaro of Brazil, who is burning down the Amazon forest, the green lung of the earth, at an unprecedented rate without scruples, as if it were his personal property. In our region, too, certain types of weather last longer than usual. Recently, short but violent tornadoes, which we thought were only found in exotic countries, came along. We are bound to brace ourselves.

General environmental tip: Buy a 0°C fridge.
It won't freeze, but all the biodegradation processes will come to a virtual standstill
and all your perishable food stays fresh for three times as long.
A rocket salad, for example, will stay fresh for at least three weeks.

Beware of our pigeons.

The recent disastrous flight in which 1.300 pigeons were left behind has caused quite a commotion in the media. The image of a young fancier attracts attention, and one cannot blame the media for this magnification. However, disaster flights exist as long as the pigeon sport, and the search for the cause often remains an intriguing riddle and subject for analysis among the fanciers.

Whether we should make a public speculative analysis in these times is questionable.
Let's face it; there is only one thing that has always mattered: "winning." It is logical and understandable that we want to respond to natural behaviour, e.g., darkening; this has always existed, probably not more than before. Half of the pigeons mysteriously disappear, and that only one pigeon is found dead sounds dramatic and almost disgusting, but in 2000, something similar happened in WPC.

On a beautiful spring morning, with a clear blue sky and hardly any wind from the east, we organised three training flights from Borgworm (30 km) with 600 pigeons each. One at 8h, one at 10h and one at 12h. Almost all pigeons came back from 2 groups (8 and 12h) from the third group that day, none! A few days later, we had some 200 of them back. The worst thing was that nobody could give a scientific or rational explanation. All the pigeons were indeed in the same conditions beforehand, and only the release time was different. There was no problem at all for the group.

We speculated on the crossing with a Polish flight (some pigeons were reported in Germany), a possible sound wall bang of the airbase of Bierset etc. In theory, you can try to figure it all out, but finding out why pigeons stay behind is a profession in itself. Even NASA is interested in finding out how pigeons find their way back or not. One can follow the pigeons live on the map with GPS if one wishes to do so. Here are a few images of the current situation.

Birds of prey, as a natural cause of the delay.

The Sparrowhawk has the guts to overpower a young pigeon between your legs in the courtyard (so to speak), which can cause an enormous panic. The government protects the birds of prey to such an extent that their attacks will only increase, and we have to learn to live with that. The suppression of the animal's habitat is not allowed, but I am worried about protecting the bloodthirsty wolf in our densely populated region.

Who will be responsible if a human being is attacked shortly after wolves have recently randomly torn apart a cow (according to the specialists, it does not happen "normally" ...) or two sheep in the presence of the shepherd? After the killing, they indeed walked away without devouring the prey. Flanders is one of the most densely populated regions in Europe, and compromises will have to be made.

Lost pigeons also have every chance of survival. In the summer, during the racing season, there is food in abundance in the fields. Pigeon racing created a strong breed by selection through competition over hundreds of generations. This brings us to the parole of COMED.

It is worrying that the Dutch parliament has approved an animal act that stipulates that 
animals must not be hindered in their natural freedom of movement.

Dutch animal act puts a bomb under livestock farming.

In my view, this should not mean any danger for the pigeon sport, but it creates a lot of uncertainty because this is going too far. They did say that it still has to be examined case by case, but the wait has been announced.

Our carrier pigeons have been used for centuries to convey messages. The stagecoaches could never do the job so quickly. All influential people used to have carrier pigeons. So at government buildings and castles, you had a pigeon loft in a separate building for that purpose.

Heroic stories have been written about the pigeon as a soldier: Cher Ami saved a battalion. In short, a great friendship blossomed between man and pigeon. You can feel it approaching that politics will keep an eye on everything. We have to build up a reputation in the media as animal lovers by taking good care of them, which will give us a good image.

The sustainable COMED method is, therefore, more valuable than ever.

Does it need repeating? We have said it before: messing around with antibiotics to improve sports performance creates a negative image. So we will have to deal with that perception very carefully after the approval of the restriction on the keeping of animals in the Dutch parliament. The solution is obvious.

The sustainable COMED Method, without antibiotics, can help us create an animal-friendly image. In this regard, the FASFC already had preliminary talks with the KBDB a few years ago.

There is now a new law on animal transport regulation across European borders through the 21-day quarantine rule. Background to this European law is safeguarding the health of our livestock in general and of poultry in particular.

The regular outbreaks of avian flu were an argument for wrongly considering our racing pigeon as a potential scapegoat. Our responsible persons at the various levels of government were able to limit the damage, for which we are grateful and appreciative. It was described in detail in the press. We are also talking about infections between animals and between animals and humans. One could envisage pigeons or poultry being potential transmitters of viruses and bacteria etc.

This study
indicates that research on some poultry species - contrary to other animal species - is improbable to pose a risk. However, there remains the issue of the spreading of infectious diseases together with resistance to antibiotics.

Herewith we show again and again that COMED has not only foreseen these problems for many years but at the same time offers a valuable alternative. The COMED-Method leads our pigeon sport to a sustainable sanitary hobby. To be continued...

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