UIA under investigation following puppy deaths in the hold

By Rachelle Harry

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has launched an investigation following the death of 38 French Bulldog puppies that were transported in the hold of a Ukraine International Airlines (UIA) flight from Kiev to Toronto on June 13.

CFIA said in a statement: “In the case of the shipment of puppies which arrived at Pearson Airport on June 13, all live puppies were released to the importers. Given the condition of some of the puppies upon arrival, CFIA staff recommended to the individual importers coming to collect their shipments that these puppies be immediately brought to a local veterinarian for appropriate care.

“The CFIA is currently investigating the circumstances surrounding this incident. As such, it cannot provide any further details until the investigation is complete.”

According to local Ukrainian publication Kyiv Post, flight operator UIA said 559 dogs and 89 cats were transported in 337 crates on the 10-hour flight.

“Placing more than one animal in cages is allowed if the animals can move freely,” UIA said in a statement.

Kyiv Post added: “The company said that the cargo compartment of the aircraft where the animals were transported was ventilated and temperature-controlled. The company pointed out that it is regularly being monitored by the IATA Operational Safety Audit and that this procedure includes checking the conditions for transporting animals. UIA also said it would no longer use the Boeing 767 aircraft, which flew to Toronto, to transport animals.”

A few days after the incident, UIA said in a statement: “UIA is working with local authorities to determine what happened and to make any changes necessary to prevent such a situation from occurring again.”

In January, Air Cargo News shared an update from Qantas that revealed snub-nosed dog breeds, including boxers, bulldogs and pugs are at significantly higher risk of health complications when flying due to their short snouts and respiratory systems. These risks are compounded in warm weather.

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