ALONG with showering the happy couple with confetti and rose petals, many newlyweds choose to release white doves after exchanging their vows as a romantic gesture.
But with wedding season fully underway, a bird rescue charity has warned that incorporating the beautiful birds into your special day could actually be putting them in grave danger.
A spokesperson for Newbury-based bird rescue charity Corvid Dawn wrote on Facebook: “For the third time in two weeks, I’ve had calls about white pigeons or fancy fan tail doves in doorways of shops, starving and disorientated and often young, looking lost.”
Taking aim at the wedding industry, the post continued: “Breeders around the country charge a pretty penny to release young birds at weddings.
“They are often not free flown, meaning they are too exhausted to work out how to get home and haven’t been in an aviary to to get their bearings or homing instinct, let alone flight muscles.”
Describing how doves are part of a “disposable business”, the user added: “They have no idea how to survive without humans or how to get home.”
Newlyweds often release doves at their wedding – but an animal charity has warned that it could put them in grave danger[/caption]
Sharing a heartbreaking photo of a dead white dove, Animal rights Facebook page Winged Warriors shared the post and added: “During ‘dove releases’, birds are let out of a cage and event attendees likely assume they’ve been ‘set free’ and will live happily ever after.
“Sadly, the moment these birds are released… their fate is sealed and many will die. These poor domesticated birds have zero survival skills.
“They’ve no idea how to find food for themselves and they’ve little understanding of their predators – it’s on par with dumping your dog or cat on the street…”
Since issuing the heartbreaking warning, the post has been shared over 28,000 times and 8,600 “likes”.
White doves are often not free flown, meaning they are too exhausted to work out how to get home. They have no idea how to survive without humans.
Animal Rights Charity Corvid Dawn
One user replied: “I feel awful now, I had no idea they couldn’t get home. We released them at our wedding 10 years ago.”
Another added: “I’m genuinely had no idea about this and I’m sure if more people knew, they would be genuinely mortified that these beautiful birds are so unused to the outside world and their fate shared.”
However, a third pointed out this is not always the case and that “reputable companies will spend hours training homing doves to get back safely”.
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