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How can we save animals in Afghanistan while throwing human beings to the dogs?

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04.09.2021

Would you save a cocker spaniel before a human being? There may be the odd case where you’d hesitate for a minute or two before signing the doggie death warrant, but most of us, I think (I hope), would put people before animals.

The story of Pen Farthing and his evacuation of around 200 dogs and cats from Kabul, while leaving behind the terrified Afghan staff of his Nowzad animal sanctuary, has sparked considerable controversy this week.

Mr Farthing had attempted to get his staff out, too. A plane, paid for by his supporters, was waiting at the airport.

But, following a stand-off with a Taliban commander who would not allow the Afghan workers through the gates, he had to leave them behind.

Debate now rages over whether he was right to bring the animals to the airport and, it’s argued, to hamper British attempts to get desperate people on to service aircraft.

Mr Farthing denies that soldiers had to be diverted to help him load his dogs and cats.

His attempts to get the animals out led to a war of words (in some instances, very bad words indeed) between Pen and his supporters on one side and Government aides and Secretary of State for Defence Ben Wallace on the other.

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This war of words — and a bombardment of online abuse from some supporters — was, in itself, a distraction the ministerial team did not need as they tried to deal with an enormous humanitarian crisis.

Pen does not come out of the story........

© Belfast Telegraph


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