The deplorable and cruel nature of the use of Roller pigeons as bowling balls became national news when footage of the poor birds being rolled into a ball and being hurled along the ground was put up on social media.
When looking further into it I found that the Harrow Fair's website was refering to the Roller Pigeon also known as Parlour Tumblers as the "bowling balls of the avian world." It's been stated that one of the organizers for the Harrow Fair had said the pigeon rolling contest was a demonstration of the unique movement of this particular bird.
The objective of the sport is the distance and number of tumbles the bird takes when their handlers roll them across the grass. In footaged put up on social media the handlers of the birds are seen winding up their arm before throwing the pigeon into the roll. They are seen using force to roll the pigeons as far as they can in order to get the most distance. The birds are fluttering, flapping and trying their best to save themselves from the torture. All the while onlookers which include children are cheering for their favorite participant to have their bird tumble the farthest.
The Harrow fair's website shows cash prizes are awarded to the participants who's birds tumbled the farthest. This activity at the Harrow fair brings many fair goers from far and wide which brings in quite a bit of revenue to the fair. There is money being made off of an outdated and cruel practice.
These poor birds are bred to roll. In all actuality they are selectively inbred which creates a genetic seizure-like disorder. The disorder is what causes them to tumble and creates the rolling action on the ground. They are sadly used for sport and competitions in many countries but the footage taken at the Harrow Fair in Essex Ontario brings the unethical practice into the light. The people that exploit these poor defensles creature's are only half of the problem but the Harrow fair is using them in a truly deplorable and abusive manner that must be stopped. Sadly the organizers of the 155 year old fair seem to be taking the stance of the "show must go on" and the contest may regretfully be part of next years fair. Please take a stand and be the voice for these poor birds and help put an to end this outdated and cruel practice today!