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Bird Flu tops NIPA Agenda

The NIPA had an almost full attendance at the recent Committee Meeting held in the Dromore Town Hall on Wednesday 13th December. The chairman firstly asked the members to stand and observe a moment's silence in respect of Norman Girvan from Newry who had passed away since the last meeting. Norman had been a faithful member of the NIPA for a long time and had served the Newry area at committee level for several years. With a packed agenda it was decided this meeting would close around 10.30pm and any outstanding business completed at a second meeting which has been marked in for Wednesday 3rd January.

The Secretary had a lot of correspondence with many pages from DARD and the Dept regarding regulations to be put in place with the transport of birds. Most of the conditions would appear to be in place and already in operation. No doubt this whole thing like last season will be on-going and maybe many more changes, should the overall situation change. At this stage hopes are a lot higher that racing should start on time and continue without disruption through to France. Peter Bryant of the RPRA is in constant contact with Government agencies and is well pleased with progress. Clearly, if there are AI outbreaks in areas, whether the UK or the continent, then racing, training and gatherings will be restricted under the AI contingency plans (much like we have for Newcastle Disease outbreaks).

Old bird racing will start on 14th April with the OB Nat flown on Friday 29th June, young birds will start on 14th July and the YB Nat will be flown on 25th August. With the RPRA needing a Permit booked for racing from France it was necessary to make a decision on the venue to be used for the OB Nat. The Sect C Meeting had put forward a race programme that included Lamballe and this would go forward to the AGM. For this year the Committee decided to stick with St Malo which has provided good results including 2006. The new Yearling Nationals which were held mid-week last year had a very poor entry and will need looked at in more detail. The changes made with the Lib Line/Pigeon Line service which were in most places cheaper to use have brought in a reduced revenue and this added to by a large reduction in the number of birds transported during 2006 will cast a major influence on the seasons Balance Sheet.

Some discussion was held on the printing of Diplomas. The layout used last time proved to be unsatisfactory to the majority of the members. With the number of races now flown, especially in old birds, it was getting very hard to list all winners and to publish a separate Open Diploma for Old & Young Bird racing would cost double. Mid Antrim Combine Diplomas carried a lot of race detail and the costing is to be obtained from their printer. Sect C had asked that all Committee members receive results and these can be sent via the transporter collection, some discussion as well on updating the NIPA Web-site. The computer has been updated and is almost complete to enable the NIPA to provide results to the BHW in a format suitable for publication. This should also assist on placing results on to the Web-site. I can see no reason why each club after providing an e-mail contact should not be getting results just as soon as they are ready, and in time the computer system should be able to assist in the production of all results including Nationals. A lot of organisations on the mainland use the computer for downloading race entry forms and a whole host of other jobs.

The NIPA Web-site as well as listing results should be fit to list all member clubs in a fashion similar to other sites in operation and carry all NIPA related reports, loft features, archive material, and photos etc. I suppose a start has been made with slow progress, but the whole system needs updating on a regular basis, and I don’t mean more extra work for the Secretary. At least half the NIPA member clubs are already listed and using the internet, I know for a fact many more expect to be included for 2007. It’s the way forward and even last season many members were picking up on who was winning from where from early on a Saturday evening, and the experts having a fair idea who topped each Section and the NIPA Open over the weekend.

Ballycarry & Dist had a letter in relating to them attending Larne & Dist for their Nat Centre, and a letter from Springvale regarding the transport of the local area pigeons, these will probably be discussed later as will the full Sect C report and another report from Sect E. After the success of the RPRA One Loft Race last year no decision has been made yet about participation in 2007, a top class opportunity to skim publicity if there ever was one. The transport and collection of birds is to be looked at regarding cost saving, should one transporter be removed it will make a big change to collections. Lifting the birds at the door was always the service provided in the past.

The state of the season's Balance Sheet will not be helped by the theft of a Fuel Card which enabled thieves to obtain several litres of fuel amounting to a sum in excess of £10,000. Luckily it was caught on quick and the account shut down immediately or the damage might have been even more severe. Other losses of this type have run into several thousands. The committee had a full detailed report on the loss, what happened, and a plan of new procedures which would be put in place for the future. Investigations continue with the police on both sides of the border, recovery of any money would be away down the list of expectation.

The annual Boxing Day Show will be the usual 3 in 1 for OB & YB at £1 per pen with penning from 10am until 2pm. Prizes for all cards and visitors welcome.

Horseshoe HPS in Larne also have an Open Show marked in for Boxing Day. Glengormley HPS Open Show will take place on Saturday 30th December, usual five classes Old Cock, Old Hen, Young Cock, Young Hen and Eyesign. Money awards for all the classes and the club also intend to have their Open Sale. Due to the uncertainty of racing this event was cancelled last season, £2,500 was paid out in the YB Race the year previous. Penning at Glengormley is from 4.00pm until 6.00pm. Also on the 30th December Portavogie HPS will hold a Monster Show for the Kidney Research Fund, N. Ireland. Visitors will be made very welcome with entertainment and refreshments provided all day, as well as the sale of 2007 YB. Carrick & Dist Open Show will be held on New Years Day plus the annual YB Sale, penning is from 1.30pm and all fanciers will be made welcome.

THE BOSCHEIND FLYERS - Return to Ireland with 40 Lots from the ever successful partnership of Jan Schreuder & Andre Van De Wiel. The venue will be Ballyclare Comrades Football Club on Friday 29th December at 8.15pm. For copy of Sale List visit www.elimarpigeons.com or contact Adie Tel: 07835 709877 to have your copy mailed.

Coming up in the New Year a Sensational Sale of the old original Frans Van Wildemeersch of Oakfield Lofts, a first time opportunity to obtain the very best of the late B Fletcher & Son. Watch press for more details, and info at local shows, contact Steve Telephone: 07737275820.

My next update will follow the NIPA meeting to be held early in the New Year, in the meantime Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all the members and readers.



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