Thursday 26 August 2021

90,000 evacuated from Afghanistan but what about pets?

This is a note, no more, but when I read about 90,000 people being evacuated out of Kabul to the West, to safety, I am naturally pleased but also concerned. This is a very large number of people and surely some of these families must have pets. There must be cats and dogs in these homes as companion animals to the families. So, what happened to them? 

90,000 evacuated from Afghanistan but what about pets?
90,000 evacuated from Afghanistan but what about pets?

There is only one possibility which is that they've been left behind to fend for themselves. There is no way that the UK and US governments would allow them to take their cats and dogs with them. Although I have seen a photograph of a dog in the passenger seat on a plane taking off from Kabul airport. The dog apparently was owned by an embassy staff member. There were some complaints because it was claimed that dogs should not take precedence over Afghani people.

So, embassy staff can take their dogs back home but Afghanis can't. And, it is almost certain that these cats and dogs are going to suffer tremendously and probably starve to death. And to add to the complexity and disaster of the situation, Nowzad, Mr Farthing's well-known animal rescue charity based in Kabul has permission to take staff and the animals out of there on a privately-funded chartered jet (after much wrangling and objections by the Ministry of Defence).

American service dogs given precedence over Afghanis waiting to be evacuated by air

So, there will be one less animal rescue charity available in Kabul to pick up the pieces if indeed there is more than one in any case. I would doubt that there are any animal rescue centres in Kabul but I could well be wrong.

The point of this note is that animals will suffer because of human madness. It took a lot of effort for Mr Farthing to convince the UK government to allow him to transport his animals out of Kabul because initially they did not want to see images in the news media of animals taking precedence, apparently, over Afghan citizens who have the right to be evacuated. 

This resulted in the UK government prohibiting him flying the animals out of Kabul even though the flight was privately funded and not a burden on the British taxpayer. A quite bizarre decision which has been overturned thankfully. Mr Farthing, his staff and animals, I believe, are making arrangements now to fly out of the country. There will be complexities over such things as bio-security i.e. rabies and Covid et cetera, but essentially the animals will be saved.

The Taliban have a very bad reputation regarding dogs because in the Muslim faith dogs are seen as unclean but cats are seen as more acceptable because of the faith's hadiths i.e. teachings, and of course the Prophet's reputation as being a cat lover. The future of dogs in Kabul is tenuous because of this gross act of speciesism.

P.S. Animals can't board RAF planes according to the MOD. This perhaps explains the lack of pets on planes?

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