A pigeon fancier from the Dutch province of Gelderland has been questioned in connection with illegal vaccinations performed on racing and hobby pigeons. The man was caught red-handed by agents from the Dutch Agriculture Ministry last week.
The man presented himself as a veterinarian to fellow pigeon fanciers and told the authorities that he performed over 12,000 vaccinations per year at a cost of EUR 0.55 per bird.
The birds, belonging to more than fifty different owners, were vaccinated against the paramyxovirus. Pigeons are required to have this injection annually, but it must be done by a trained veterinarian.
The man has been charged with violating animal medicine statutes and with forgery for providing documents to the pigeon owners proving their birds had been vaccinated. A veterinary practice, which may have provided supplies to the accused man, is also being investigated in connection with the case.