2021. 8. 25. 水
My name is Jo Herbots, manager of Herbots Imex BV and Herbots Pigeons BV. As y
ou may know, Belgium is the cradle in the whole world when it comes to pigeon
sport. In 1989 I went to Japan for the first time to promote the Belgian pigeo
n. After that, we gradually expanded our relationships with Japan, before the
Covid troubles we went to visit customers / friends in Japan every year and ev
ery year we receive several delegations from Japan and guide those people in t
heir search for the best pigeons. So our core business is trading (broker) of
the Belgian/European pigeon to Japan and the rest of the world.
Under normal circumstances we send an average of 100 racing pigeons to Japan e
very month, but this transport has come to a complete standstill due to the ou
tbreak of bird flu. Allow me to outline the situation.
For transport to Japan, all pigeons must first be placed in an official quaran
tine loft in Belgium approved by the FASFC for at least 21 days. These lofts a
re supervised by official veterinarians and inspected by the FASFC. For export
, the vet inspector comes to inspect the pigeons/lofts and, after approval, pr
ovides the health certificates with the necessary signatures and official stam
ps. We own such lofts located on our company domains, so we have everything in
our own hands to ensure that every pigeon can leave in optimal health. On Nov
ember 26, 2020 we were at the airport in Brussels with a large shipment of pig
eons for Japan, unfortunately bird flu broke out that day in Belgium and immed
iately all transport to Japan was stopped. So these pigeons had to be housed a
gain on our companies and we started a new quarantine.
In the meantime, we are August 2021, so 10 months later and still not a single
pigeon has been able to leave for Japan due to a new outbreak of bird flu. Yo
u may be able to imagine the negative impact this has on our companies and exp
orts to Japan. This means a huge loss of turnover and our Japanese friends hav
e been waiting for almost a year for the pigeons they bought at the end of 202
0. Fortunately, we received the following message from the OIE on August 16, w
hich announces that Belgium is now free from bird flu since April 29, 2021.
Through business relations (Mr Kitano) we have approached the Ministry of Heal
th and Welfare in Japan, but they require a formal letter from the Belgian Emb
assy asking to lift the ban on importing pigeons from Belgium. May I politely
ask you to intervene with the utmost urgency with the appropriate authorities
in Japan ?
We thank you very much and you can always contact us for further questions.
Met beleefde groeten,