28/8/21 1500hrs GMT
Ex British Royal Marine Commando Pen Farthing (who has served tours in Afghan) who founded NOWZAD animal rescue in Kabul, Afghanistan, is now on his way back to the UK, complete with all the homeless dogs and cats from the shelter,
He was helped hugely by British soldiers in Kabul (airport) to load the animals on a special charter plane which late last night left KABUL in the early hours. We thank the British army and the Ministry of Defence for allowing this to get approval.
Sadly; because of restrictions imposed by the Taliban, Afghan staff from the NOWZAD were unable to get approval to enter the airport and board the flight to the UK. They were forced to remain.
Things are continuing with the UK government to try and get these workers out of Afghanistan.
Pen and the animals are coming into the UK, but first flying via Tash Kent in Uzbekistan.
We don’t know at present when they will all arrive in the UK.
I don’t think that there will be any problem in finding forever homes in the UK for all the animals en route.
Some have argued that humans should be given priority over animals; but it was always the position that if approval was given for boarding an RAF rescue flight, the animals would be shipped in the aircraft hold and that aircraft seats would still be given to humans. This was not the case as a special aircraft was chartered.
Some USA commentators have criticised the Brits for wanting to help the animals instead of humans. The UK has flown out thousands of Afghan citizens for residence in the UK during the airlift operation over the last week or so. Huge C-17 airlifters have been loaded up with Afghan citizens destined for the UK. Children were given toys on their arrival – see photo below.
Yes, the Brits also have a real thing about helping animals as well as humans – both are sentient beings.
There is an old saying:
A nation is judged by the way it treats its animals.
Pen fought in Afghan as a marine commando; but he set up NOWZAD there to help stray animals. He has seen the human side of things, and now wants to prioritise helping animals.
We wish him and all the team the very best.