HONG Kong Racing Pigeon Association members had misunderstood that no summonses would be issued against them for keeping pigeons in an urban area, Eastern Court heard yesterday. Wong Ho-yan, Senior Environmental Protection Officer then in charge of the livestock waste control group enforcement section, was testifying in the case of association member Chan Tin-yan, 52. Chan has pleaded not guilty to an Environmental Protection Department summons of keeping 28 racing pigeons at his Chai Wan flat on April 14. The Waste Disposal Ordinance prohibits more than 10 pigeons being kept in a livestock waste prohibition area. Giving evidence for the Crown on the second day of a defence application for a stay of proceedings, Mr Wong said he wrote to the association in March 1991 to clarify that the law would be enforced. He said he found that the association members had misunderstood that they would not be prosecuted. Cross-examined by defence counsel Benjamin Chain, Mr Wong said he did not know whether the letter went against a branch decision not to prosecute association members. Mr Chain contends that Chan was misled by verbal assurances from Dr Patrick Hase, then principal assistant secretary (environment) of the Planning, Environment and Lands Branch, in 1990 and 1991 that racing pigeons would be brought outside the definition of livestock and that association members would not be prosecuted for merely keeping pigeons in urban areas. Magistrate Hugh Sinclair adjourned the case until January 27.