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38 Puppies Dead On Arrival At Toronto Pearson Airport Prompt Investigation

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About 500 puppies from Ukraine arrived at Toronto Pearson Airport on Saturday, 38 of which were dead on arrival. Many were sick, according to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA), the agency that that regulates the importation of animals into Canada.

A CFIA spokesperson said that many of the dogs were suffering from weakness, dehydration and/or vomiting, and they’re currently investigating the details surrounding the trip.

Related: United Airlines Reaches Settlement With Family Of Suffocated Puppy

Ukraine International Airlines released a statement about the flight, offering condolences for the tragic loss of animal life, and committing to working with local authorities to determine what happened.

Everyone at UIA offers its condolences for the tragic loss of animal life on our flight. UIA is working with local…

Posted by Fly UIA on Friday, June 19, 2020

Citizens picking up or dropping pets off for transport said that several veterinarians were inspecting the animals that arrived, according to a report in Global News. They claimed that there was an overwhelming stench of death, feces and urine. Some called it a horror scene.

One citizen, Abby Lorenzen shared what she saw and heard on Facebook, prompting Ukraine International Airlines to respond on Facebook initially, then delete their statement later.

The initial statement said that there were over 500 animals on the commercial flight, and that UIA has been transporting animals for commercial purposes for years. Upon learning of the issue, UIA immediately requested information about the transportation, and maintained that they regularly undergo operational safety and quality audits. They have all certificates and experts who handle all the regulated requirements for transporting the pets.

Regulations about pets in cabin or cargo departments of aircraft are up to air operators, and not Canadian Aviation Regulations. Dog import requirements are determined by the Health of Animals Act and the Health of Animals Regulations.

Animals who don’t meet import conditions will have investigations conducted for further analysis.

Related: Delta Airlines Mistakenly Flies Puppy to 4 Different Destinations

UIA said that transporting puppies carries a calculated risk that all breeders and people who ship dogs by air understand. Knowing the risks, they take them anyway since the business of breeding pets is competitive and profitable, they said. Among the dead, many were French Bulldogs, which go for up to $4,000 a puppy in Canada.

UIA also maintains it never got any claims from the senders in Ukraine or the Canadian recipients about inappropriate transports of animals.

Claims or not, 38 puppies suffered and died, while countless others suffered and answers need to be found.  Breeding is lucrative, but not worth these dogs’ lives.


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