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A Summer of Tragedy for Animals and the Transportation Industry

In late September, a Yorkshire terrier died in U.S. custody, fueling a messy legal battle over the importation of a group of purebred canines imported from Russia. The pup, named Uti-Puti, was being held at a private facility at New York’s Kennedy Airport used to hold animals from overseas that are denied entry to the U.S. by federal officials.

Around the same time, it was reported that at least 5,000 animals, including rabbits, guinea pigs, cats and dogs, were found dead in cardboard shipping boxes at a logistics facility in Central China, likely casualties of a miscommunication in the supply chain of China’s thriving mass-breeding industry. They were all in plastic or metal cages wrapped in cardboard boxes with breathing holes and had been left without food or water for over a week. Only a couple of animals were saved.

In August, news broke that thousands of live chicks, which are regularly shipped via the U.S. Postal Service, were dying in transit to rural farms.

Additionally, in June, thirty-eight French bulldog puppies were found dead on a Ukrainian International Airlines plane in Toronto. In a nightmarish scene, the surviving dogs were found suffering from symptoms including dehydration, weakness and vomiting.

These recent, tragic events are just the latest in a litany of incidents of animals dying needless and cruel deaths in transport. These unfortunate circumstances can occur when welfare standards are not strictly set in place. American Humane believes all animal transport programs via air, ground and water should employ rigorous welfare standards, adherence to which are confirmed through meticulous, independent audits. Just like people, animals deserve to be comfortable and safe on their voyage, and pet owners should not ever have to fear that their beloved animals may not make it to the final destination safely and securely.

We call on all entities that transport live animals to welcome independent auditing and humane oversight of their practices. Let’s work together to prevent these terrible, unnecessary deaths of our innocent, four-legged friends.

In American Humane’s critical policy report, A New Deal for Animals, People and the World We Share, a section is included on the absolute need to enforce safety standards for animals in all forms of transport. Read it here:

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