Animal rights group slams ‘cruel’ pigeon races

LONDON — An animal rights group may ruffle royal feathers with its call for Queen Elizabeth II to stop supporting pigeon racing because the sport is cruel.

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals claims tens of thousands of birds die during pigeon races across the English Channel. It says it conducted an undercover investigation which found that in some races 75 percent of the birds disappear and are presumed dead.

PETA says it has written to the queen asking her to review her association with the sport.

Elizabeth is patron of the Royal Pigeon Racing Association and keeps several hundred racing pigeons on her Sandringham estate in eastern England.

Buckingham Palace declined to comment Thursday.

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