A FIRM of avian medicine experts have been told to shape up after being caught out by a watchdog.

Colchester's Belgica UK, which specialises in the care of racing pigeons, has been issued with an animal medicines improvement notice by the Veterinary Medicines Directorate.

The Government body has warned the firm for using imported medicine which is not authorised in the UK, issuing medicine without authorisation from a vet and selling medicine at trade shows without the correct permissions.

David Coward-Talbott, is the director of the business, which has been based on Colchester's Severalls Industrial Estate since 2011.

He said: "It is like with most government inspections we have been asked to tidy a couple of bits and pieces up at our clinics.

"Vets in this country know little about racing pigeons.

"We work with one of the world's best vets for pigeons who does clinics all over the world and he is very experienced.

"The way we do things is not always the way they would want them to be done in England and so that is why we need to make changes.

"As far as we are concerned it is over and we are going to be moving forward with the improvements which were suggested."

The Veterinary Medicines Directorate has issued Belgica with a three-point improvement programme to address the business' shortcomings.

Belgica produces its own medicines for racing pigeons as well as hosting clinics at its Colchester base.