A BARNSLEY MP is battling to overturn new Brexit rules which aim to prevent pigeon racing across the English Channel.

Wentworth and Dearne’s John Healey was contacted by pigeon fanciers who claim that new rules mean they will be unable to release birds in Europe.

Cross-Channel races such as these have been running for more than a century but new rules surrounding Brexit may prevent them from taking place.

He said: “Owners appreciate the need for stringent regulations for movement into the EU but these birds are low risk and are not being imported, only transported then released.

“This should have been resolved as part of the Brexit terms and now needs an agreement with the EU.

“I want to know what the Secretary of State is doing to try to fix this and I’ve urged him to take this up with his counterpart in France.”

John has written to the Environment Secretary and the Royal Pigeon Racing Association, which is raising concerns with the government and the French Minister of EU and Foreign Affairs.

Mick McGrevy, 73, has owned pigeons since he was 12 and currently has about 100 kept on land near his home in Goldthorpe Green, Goldthorpe.

He a former chairman and life vice-president of the National Flying Club, which was formed in 1898, has members nationwide and organises races from points in France and Spain during spring and summer.

The birds usually complete the 500-mile trip in just a few hours, returning home on the same day they are released.

Mick said: “We really want to see this sorted out so we can get back to the racing we enjoy and have been doing for decades.”