People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals sent a letter to Queen Elizabeth II asking that she put a stop to her country's practice of racing pigeons.
It's a cruel sport, PETA says, that leads to the deaths of thousands of birds, Today reports.
The queen — as patron of the Royal Pigeon Racing Associated — keeps about 250 of the birds at her Sandringham estate in England, PETA says, as Today reports.
"The Queen is a key figure in the sport of pigeon racing, and this is a very serious issue," PETA-UK spokesman Ben Williamson said, to Today. "We hope the queen will treat this issue with the importance it deserves because there are tens of thousands of birds dying."
Pigeon racing dates back to the 1890s. Pigeon handlers release the birds at a specified location, and the winner is the one who returns home the fastest. Many die from exhaustion, PETA sayus.
PETA says up to 2 million birds are raised for racing each year in the United Kingdom.
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