Drug testing of racing pigeons.
by admin in Racing News on 31/03/2014 - 02:32:24

Fanciers from the IHU Southern Region attended a meeting on March 16th to discuss the issue of drug testing and review procedures for testing with Randox Laboratories from Antrim, Northern Ireland.
The meeting commenced and was chaired by Pascal Mulcahy, President of the Southern Region.
Randox supply a sealed kit for feather and throat testing and they also supply training for testers in the correct procedures for the carrying out of testing. Five fanciers are nominated from the IHU to carry out drug testing and Randox will train club representatives from the Southern Region  in the correct procedures for the tests.

The ring number will be recorded, and six feathers will be taken from under the wing on each side of the pigeon as part of the test. The feathers are grouped in two samples and placed in two separate tubes. Two throat swabs are also taken and stored in separate tubes and the test paper record is signed by the fancier and all samples sent to Randox. 

At the meeting it was agreed by the executive committees of the IHU Southern Region that each club would carry out a recommended minimum of two tests during the racing season with the Southern Region funding one test and the individual clubs funding the other. 

The timing of the tests will not be announced, and when the clocks are delivered to the clubs after each race, the winning fancier will be asked to produce the winning bird at the club for testing within the hour. The test will be carried out in the club room and witnessed by club members present. It is recommended that fanciers do not treat their birds before racing as this may trigger a false positive during the testing and the IHU drug rules will be invoked.

All results will be sent to the Southern Region Secretary (S. Lehane) who will liaise with Randox in the testing procedure and deliver the results to the clubs. Tests to date have been taken on Saturday or Sunday and sent to Randox by Monday. Printed results are expected to be returned by the following Friday.

The president of the Irish Homing Union (IHU), E. Fitzgerald, expects that at least 100 to 150 feather test will be carried out in the 2014 season. Clubs can carry out more than two test in the season if they want but will have to fund the test themselves. He also said that EDC, UF and NIPA  will be testing winners also.

The President of the Irish Homing Union (IHU), E. Fitzgerald, congratulated Finglas RPC for the carrying out of independent drug testing to date.

A Question and Answer session followed after the meeting with Randox, and a summary is presented below.

M. Roche PRO ISRF.

Q How long does it take for substances to get in to the feather 
A It can take 24 to 48 hours

Q Some Concern was expressed regarding the swab test 
A It was explained that the cotton bud must travel to the bottom of the crop and has not caused any undue distress to the birds being tested.

Q What happens if a fancier refuses to produce the winning bird.
A If a fancied refuses to produce the winning bird for testing then that test will be treated as a positive test and the IHU Rules for drug testing will be enforced.

Q it was asked should each club test every week and send some of the tests to Randox.
A The E C had decided that the clubs will be told when to do the test but if clubs want to do more test themselves they can.

Q If a fancier is not satisfied with the drug test in a scale of 1 to 10 how positive is the test 
A Randox test horses, dogs ,athletes and a large and professional organization and they will stand over any test in the courts once the proper procedures are carried out.

Q if a bird is treated for say some ailment and there is a banned substance in the treatment unknown to the fancier what is the position.
A No product should be used that the content is not clearly shown on the bottle. The responsibility is with the fancier to ensure that their birds are not being treated with banned substances. E F said the IHU SR will be taking out a advert in the BHW and the RP Explaining that all products will have to be clearly labeled and no banned substances will  be tolerated being sold in Ireland as it is illegal.

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