Lisburn Councillor Robbie Butler has welcomed the support the Stormont Assembly has given to an amendment to an Assembly Bill, which will mean “a substantial boost to the increasingly popular sport of pigeon racing throughout the Lagan Valley constituency and wider Province”.
Mr Butler said the Rates Amendment Bill would mean pigeon racing could become a ‘prescribed recreation’ and attain sporting status.
“The Ulster Unionist Party tabled an amendment to the Rates Amendment Bill which will see pigeon racing added to the Prescribed Recreations list used when deciding to set rate,” explained Mr Butler.
“I, along with other Ulster Unionist Party colleagues, have taken the opportunity to correct, what I believe to be, an oversight.
“There is an ongoing confusion within some bodies on whether pigeon racing is a sport.
“I, along with my party colleagues, am currently engaged with the Northern Ireland Pigeon Association, Royal Pigeon Racing Association, SportNI and the Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure, and this bill amendment constitutes part of a major ongoing project.
“In the meantime until this is achieved, I can see no reason why pigeon racing cannot be designated as a Prescribed Recreation as there are already a number of activities on that list, which are not a recognised sport.
“While our Party has received criticism from some areas on this amendment, I believe it is a responsibility of any elected representative to represent the interests of their constituents.”
“Pigeon racing is an exceptionally popular pastime throughout the constituency and deserves full sporting status recognition,”