Pigeon vets from all over the world unite: a very successful Congress of the IVPA

Just before the Covid 19 pandemie, on 06-07 March 2020 at the Warsaw Plaza Hotel the 1st World Congress of the International Veterinary of Pigeons Association (IVPA) was held, during which the organization's authorities were selected for term of office 2020-2022.


The chairman of the organizing committee prof. Piotr Szeleszczuk

In recognition of the achievements of Polish pigeon pathology, participants of the meeting unanimously elected the president of the association "father of Polish columbopathology" prof. dr hab. Piotr Szeleszczuk. The Belgian pigeonvet DVM. Pascal Lanneau and Dr. Elisabeth Peus, head of the world-famous Taubenklinik, the German Pigeon Racing Association in Essen, became vice presidents. During this term of office, the secretary will be the DVM Krzysztof Adamczyk (Poland).

National representatives of IVPA branches were also elected: Dr. Ruben Lanckriet (Belgium); Professor Chengbao Wang (China); Dr. Henk De Weerd (Netherlands), Dr. Lydia Mohr (Germany); Dr. hab. Tomasz Stenzel, prof. WUM (Poland) and Dr. Sara Dias (Portugal).


Snapshot of the meeting room. In the first row from the right sit prof. Marcin Bańbura (Director of the Institute of Veterinary Medicine, WULS), Krzysztof Kawaler (President of the Polish Association of Racing Pigeon Breeders); dr. Bogdan Konopka Polish Chief Veterinary Officer and DVM Renata Zegadło (Accredited Columbopathological Practice in Suchedniów, Poland).

The rank of Congress was emphasized by the fact that the honorary patronage over the event was taken by Dr. Bogdan Konopka Chief Veterinary Doctor and Krzysztof Kawaler, President of the Polish Association of Racing Pigeon Breeders. The representative of the International Association of Pigeon Fanciers (Federation Columbophile Internationale - FCI) at the Warsaw Congress was Dr. Elisabeth Peus (Germany), chairwoman of the Scientific and Veterinary Commission of this Organization.

According to more than 100 participants of the IVPA World Congress, it was an extremely successful meeting devoted to very current problems of columbopathology. Organizers, chaired by prof. Piotr Szeleszczuk, managed to invite the most outstanding specialists in the field of pigeon diseases. Unfortunately, the Covid 19 epidemic caused that Chinese representatives were not present with their very interesting researches. Also, prof. dr, h.c. Erhard F. Kaleta (Germany) who was in the house quarantaine did not reach the Congress. Gathered participants, in recognition of many merits of Professor Kaleta for the development of columbopathology, was awarded him the title of IVPA Honorary Member.

Among the excellent lecturers were, noble specialists as, prof. Celia Abolnik (South Africa), prof. Krzysztof Śmietanka (Poland), dr. hab. Tomasz Stenzel, prof. UWM (Poland) or dr. Dennis Rubbenstroth (Germany) and Henk De Weerd (Netherlands). Reports included the latest research results on avian influenza, Newcastle disease, circovirus disease, and the most important health challenge for columbopathologists, which are currently rotavirus infections.


Authorities of the IVPA term of office 2020-2022. They stand from the left:
Krzysztof Adamczyk (Secretary / Treasurer); Elisabeth Peus, (Vice President for Relations with the FCI Veterinary and Scientific Committee); Pascal Lanneau (Vice President); Piotr Szeleszczuk (President).

Participants listened to 13 hours of lectures, which included not only viral infections, but also bacterial infections (Enterococcus, Staphylococcus, Mycoplasma). Very practical topics related to the therapy and availability of drugs for pigeons in EU countries as well as formal principles of conducting pigeon genetic testing in accordance with FCI guidelines were also discussed.

It should be noted with great satisfaction that, among others, many high-level studies are being carried out in relation to domestic and free-living pigeons. At the Congress, the results of their work were presented by researchers from the Veterinary Research Institute in Puławy (Prof. Krzysztof Śmietanka; dr. Anna Sawicka-Durkalec), UWM in Olsztyn (Prof. Tomasz Stenzel) and WULS (DVM Krzysztof Adamczyk; dr. Dorota Chrobak-Chmiel ; dr. Anna Golke; dr Beata Dolka; dr. Aleksandra Ledwoń and Prof. Piotr Szeleszczuk).


Among the audience, some Belgian pigeon vets:
Frédéric Jonckers, Stijn Rans, Roel Haesendock, Emiel de Meester, Marc Ryon, Simon Cans, Pieter Colla, Pascal Lanneau


Ruben Lanckriet, president of the Belgian IVPA branch, during discussion after a presentation

Undoubtedly, the Congress had a historical dimension, and the presence of so many authorities from many countries of the world is an expression of recognition for the achievements of Polish veterinary medicine in the field of pigeon health protection. The apprenticeship accreditation system operating under the patronage of the self-government of veterinarians in Poland is the only such solution in the world!

In agreement with the lecturers and participants, the Warsaw meeting contributed well to the development of veterinary care for these exceptional birds.


Pascal Lanneau receives the certificate of Founder member of the IVPA from the president