This is a sad story, but one that needs to be covered. This horrible discovery brings to light a huge international problem.
A plane from the Ukraine, Ukrainian International Airlines flight, landed in Toronto, Canada. This is usually a routine flight of about 10 hours or so. It’s your standard commercial flight, and on any other day it would be no big deal. However, when this plane landed airport employees were witness to a horrific scene.
572 puppies were found onboard in crates. The poor puppies were in pretty bad condition. The puppies suffered from a variety of ailments including weakness from dehydration and vomiting. 38 of these poor animals were dead.
Because of the discovery the Canadian Food Inspection Agency launched an investigation into the matter. The discovery highlights an expanding worldwide market for dogs. Animal care supporters and legislators are calling for more restrictions to protect imported dogs and people.
Congressional representatives note that there has been a huge increase in imported dogs to the U.S.A. in the last few years, and 99% of them are not screened. There is currently a bill in congress called the Healthy Dog Importation Act sponsored by congressman Ralph Abraham, a Veterinarian and medical doctor, whose purpose is to ensure the health and safety of all dogs that enter the U.S.
Right now no one is saying much about the flight. The Canadian government so far has not released a lot of information about their investigation citing that the investigation is ongoing. Ukrainian International Airlines said that they regret the loss of animal life and they are cooperating with the local authorities to prevent a similar situation in the future.
Animal welfare advocates have expressed that it is highly unusual to fly over 500 dogs on a single flight. Dogs need care and water before boarding and during the flight.
The dogs on the flight were French bulldogs and are know to suffer from respiratory issues, and because of this many airlines in the U.S.A. won’t transport them.
However, French bulldogs are one of the most popular dog breeds in the U.S. They are generally in the top 5 dog breeds. The popularity carries with it a high price. These dogs, known as Frenchies can command as much as $4500 – $8000 for a puppy. Adoption fees for these dogs can be as much as $1850.
Because of the enormous profit potential brokers and sellers are incentivized to be cheap when it comes to the animals care and welfare. In the case of this plane load of puppies it is said that temperatures were close to 90°F when the puppies were placed on the plane in the Ukraine. To make matters worse some of the crates the puppies were in had shrink wrap around them allowing for very little or no air. This shrink wrapping could have caused some puppies to suffocate.
These types of incidents are inhumane. Let’s hope that the governments of Canada and the U.S.A can do something to stop this from happening again.