Liberation Policy

Liberation Policy Amendments.docx June 2016   



                         TRANSPORTATION AND LIBERATION POLICY                           

 The aim of this Policy is to provide our Pigeons with the best opportunity possible to return home in good condition from every race they are entered into. 


 As part of this policy, all NCF Fanciers are asked to make the following commitment to their own Racing Pigeons:

  •   “ I will only send FIT, HEALTHY, WELL EDUCATED birds to be basketed for any race.If there is any doubt about the health or fitness of one of my birds, I will leave it home, to recover and be raced another day.”


 Each Member of the Liberation Committee makes the following commitment to the members of the NCF and our pigeons:

  “We will investigate as far as possible the forecast weather conditions for the full distance to be covered by the race birds and then make an INFORMED DECISION aimed at maximising returns.”

 The BASIC AIMS of this Policy are: 

1. To MINIMISE STRESS  on our race birds during transportation,

2. To ensure they get  AMPLE REST before liberation,



1. Once the Truck has been loaded with Race Birds, it is to stop every 4 hours and allow the birds one hours rest.  The doors are to be opened to allow fresh air to circulate within the truck during this rest period.

 2.  The truck is to arrive at the Racepoint in sufficient time to allow at least one hours standing time for every 100 kilometres travelled by the truck in getting to the race point. On overnight races (eg Friday night basketing), Liberation Times and basketing times are to be set so that this can be achieved.  The purpose of this rule is to allow ample time for the birds to rest after the trip, before they are released to race home.

 3. When our pigeons are basketed 2 or more nights before the scheduled Race Day, the Truck is to arrive at the racepoint before 3pm on the day before the scheduled race.  This is to allow the birds to be fed and watered in daylight and then have a full nights rest before they are liberated to race over middle and long distances.

 When setting Race Schedules, basket nights and departure times are to be set so that the Truck can reach its destination by 3pm on Fridays whilst observing the regular 4 hour rest stops.

 4.  At the Race Point, the Truck is to be parked with the back of the vehicle facing due East.  The rear door is to be opened so that the sun shines into the truck and warms up both sides of the truck.  It has been found that if parked sideways to the sun, the pigeons on the dark side do not leave the racepoint as quickly as those on the sunny side.


 1. The Liberation Committee will use Bureau of Meterology weather reports for all the regions to be covered during the race birds journey home.  These reports can be accessed via the internet .  The Committee will also access whatever other sources of weather information that they deem appropriate.  The Committee Members are required to pay attention to any forecasts of bad weather, storm systems etc that are likely to move into the path of our Race Birds on the journey home.   These Internet reports will be distributed to the members of the Liberation Committee the day before each race so they can anticipate the probable weather conditions for race day.  Weather checks will be conducted on the morning of the race with:

  •  The Liberator at the race point,
  •  The Weather Bureau,
  •  With NCF members in the different areas of our territory (eg Newcastle, Raymond Terrace, Maitland, Cessnock) to check conditions at the home end,
  •  And with contacts at intermediate locations on the line of flight between the Newcastle/Coalfields area and the Race Point. 

 A telephone link up between the  members of the Liberation Committee will be conducted to discuss all the information that has been gathered before any decision to Liberate is made.

 2. The written weather reports are to be retained and used as a reference source for the future.  When poor results occur, the weather forecasts can be reviewed to see if we can learn anything to prevent future similar situations.

 3. If at a race point, there are several transporters liberating the same day, and other transporters are releasing their pigeons before we are scheduled to release our birds - the doors on our transporter are to be closed while other liberations are occurring.  This is to keep our birds calm, otherwise, if they can see the other birds released they may become agitated and try to get out with the other pigeons and thereby suffer undue stress.                                                     

4. The following are conditions in which pigeons WILL NOT BE LIBERATED:

             a) While it is raining

             b) Totally overcast conditions with low cloud cover and the sun not visible behind the clouds at the Release Point.

             c) Strong headwinds coupled with forecasts of rain and/or thunderstorms on the anticipated line of flight.

             d) Gale force winds FROM ANY DIRECTION (eg winds over 35mph) amended to 30km in June 2015 see notes below

             f)  In Fog

             g) When thunderstorms are expected to be encountered on the journey home

             h) When unexpected delays have caused the transporter to arrive at the racepoint late and not allow enough rest time (as agreed above)

                  to meet the scheduled liberation time (eg Blackall 1997).

             i) Where the forecast temperatures during the day along the line of flight are expected to exceed 35C.(amended June 2015)

             j) When liberation time is scheduled as EAP, Birds are not to be liberated no sooner than 30 minutes after the official sunrise at the liberation point.

These Rules and Policies were adopted at the NCF General Meeting held 2/7/02 and amended at the AGM 2/2/07 & 5/12/10. See also liberation checklist and guidelines as adopted in May 2015