King Charles under pressure to cut ties with ‘cruel’ pigeon racing ahead of Coronation

Author: Liam Gilliver

Read Time:   |  11th April 2023

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King Charles is also being urged to turn the Sandringham loft into a sanctuary for lost, injured, and unwanted birds


King Charles is under increasing pressure to cut royal ties with pigeon racing ahead of the Coronation.

The monarchy has reportedly supported the cruel sport since 1886, with the late Queen Elizabeth being a patron of a number of pigeon racing societies.

However, a recent PETA investigation into the South African Million Dollar Pigeon Race, which the royal family entered, revealed most of the birds who start the race don’t live to see the finish line.

Similarly, one race from France to Sandringham (more than 600 miles) has been dubbed as the “pigeon graveyard” because so many birds die there.


“Most of the winning birds at the SAMDPR, or other races, the survivors, are auctioned off to become what fanciers rightly call ‘prisoners’ – to be locked up for their entire lives, used for breeding, and never allowed to fly again,” said PETA founder Ingrid Newkirk. 

“We hope you will conclude upon reflection that exploiting pigeons’ extraordinary homing abilities is cruel, and ill-suits Britain’s reputation as a nation that cares deeply about animals”.

PETA also urged the King to turn the Sandringham loft into a sanctuary for lost, injured, and unwanted birds.

Is King Charles vegan?

While the monarch is not vegan, he revealed in a 2021 interview that he frequently eschews from eating meat, fish, and dairy.

Speaking to the BBC, His Majesty said: “The business of what we eat is, of course, important. For years I haven’t eaten meat and fish on two days a week.

“And I don’t eat dairy products on one day a week. If more did that, you reduce a lot of the pressure on the environment.”

Think you need meat to be a successful athlete? Think again! These vegan footballers are proving plants are the key to sporting success.

Featured image: Chris Jackson via Getty Images

Written by

Liam Gilliver

Liam is a journalist working for the Mirror, Daily Express, Daily Star and OK! Magazine. He's also the author of We're Worried About Him and has been published in the likes of The Independent, Huffington Post, and Attitude Magazine.

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