An airline has introduced an embargo on the shipment of greyhounds to nations such as China with poor records on animal welfare.
Qatar Airways has issued a statement saying it would no longer transport greyhounds after lobbying by animal welfare group, Caged Nationwide.
Caged Nationwide is among a number of groups campaigning to stop racing greyhounds being exported to China for breeding.
They fear that the dogs and their off-spring will eventually be slaughtered and sold in Chinese markets as meat to be eaten.
We recently reported the first confirmed case of a greyhound from Scotland – Buzz Bomb Alley – being sold to breeders in China, amid calls for a crackdown on a lucrative export trade.
Caged Nationwide has asked around 40 airlines to stop flying greyhounds to China.
With immediate effect, Qatar Airways Cargo has placed an embargo on the air carriage of greyhound dogs to China, Hong Kong, India, Pakistan and Vietnam until further notice. Qatar Airways
Qatar Airways issued an official statement on its website after three years of lobbying by Caged Nationwide.
It read: “With immediate effect, Qatar Airways Cargo has placed an embargo on the air carriage of greyhound dogs to China, Hong Kong, India, Pakistan and Vietnam until further notice.”
Caged Nationwide welcomed the move and said: “Caged Nationwide are most grateful to Qatar Airways for newly introducing an embargo on the shipment of greyhounds to specified countries that have outdated or non – existent animal welfare laws.
“We are continuing to liaise with numerous airlines, after advising them of the cruelty inflicted on greyhounds that are exported to countries where animal protection laws are outdated or non-existent.
“We have had much success to date, with the following airlines agreeing to the introduction of full or partial embargoes that will most definitely help to protect the greyhound breed. We are grateful to Jet Airways, Malaysia Airlines, Air New Zealand, Singapore Airlines, and most recently Qatar Airways.”
A statement on Air New Zealand’s website says: “Air New Zealand allows domestic pets – cats and dogs (excluding any transported for profit e.g. racing greyhounds) and small caged birds – to travel as checked in baggage on all domestic services.”
Celebrities supporting Caged Nationwide’s campaign include comedian Ricky Gervais, actress Pauline McLynn, most commonly known as Mrs Doyle from Father Ted, and Heather Mills.
Around 50 Irish-bred greyhounds, some that have raced in Britain, are being advertised on Chinese breeding sites, according to campaigners who rescue emaciated dogs from China.
A spokesperson for the cargo division of International Airline Group, which owns British Airways, said it was aware of concerns over the export of dogs to China.
“We do not share details of our procedures for security and safety reasons, but we are fully aware of the specific issues surrounding the movement of greyhounds and we have very strict checks and controls in place to ensure that movements of this nature do not occur,” a spokesperson said.
“We work with our trusted partners and local authorities to ensure the restrictions we have in place do not affect the legitimate transport needs for individual owners.”
Meanwhile, Say No To Greyhound Racing Scotland said it still intends to travel to Ireland next month for an animal rights conference despite threats being made to staff at a Dublin hotel which was due to host the event.
The group was due to stay at Buswells Hotel but management cancelled after staff received threatening phone calls and abuse.
Buswells emailed the conference organisers last week informing them the booking was cancelled due to security fears.
Speakers at the conference included international academics and animal welfare activists.
Say No To Greyhound Racing Scotland said: “This is another example of the type of people we are dealing with and up against. To threaten and bully innocent hotel staff is appalling and everyone of them involved should hang their heads in shame. The majority of decent people detest what they stand for.”
This story was published by The Sunday Post on 6th October 2019.
Photo thanks to iStock/magdaloubser