Outrage over animal evacuation: cats and dogs flown out of Afghanistan

Ein evacuation flight with more than 150 cats and dogs from Afghanistan arrived in Great Britain on Sunday, according to a media report. As the “Daily Mail” reported, the charter plane landed at London Heathrow Airport in the morning. The Nowzad organization, which is behind the operation known as Operation Ark, confirmed to the BBC that the animals had left Afghanistan together with the organization’s founder, Paul (Pen) Farthing.

The British former soldier Farthing had previously campaigned for days to rescue animals from an animal shelter he had founded in the Afghan capital of Kabul. Farthing also wanted to fly his employees and their relatives out. After initial hesitation, he received the support of the British government, which, despite the difficult circumstances, promised a time window for his sponsored charter flight and issued visas. In the end, however, he had to travel without the staff.

The case sparked heated controversy in the UK. Defense Secretary Ben Wallace had complained in interviews that the discussion had taken too long and accused Nowzad supporters of having put his staff under pressure. The Times published an audio message on Sunday allegedly threatening a Defense Department adviser to “destroy” him on social media if he did not support him in his endeavors.

In the British rescue operation from Afghanistan, which ended at the weekend, more than 15,000 people were flown out, according to government information. However, with up to 1,000 local workers left behind because of the shortage of time, many British people were indignant about the rescue of pets.

However, according to a poll by the polling institute YouGov on Friday, just under half of Britons (49 percent) believe that human life is more important than animal life. Almost as many (40 percent) consider the lives of humans and animals to be equally valuable.

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