Humanitarian Society International / Europe (HSI)
Humane Society International/Europe (HSI) urges travel and transport companies to provide safe and pet-friendly transportation for Ukrainian refugees traveling with their animals. Animal Protection wants to prevent cats, dogs and other animals from being abandoned at bus stops or the airport because they refuse to board a plane.
HSI teams in Poland and Romania report that refugees trying to travel further to the European Union often have to leave their pets behind. This is due to obstacles and limitations when transporting pets. So HSI/Europe contacted 75 leading European travel and transport companies that use people fleeing Ukraine. They have been asked to provide a pet-friendly crossing.
“With many European travel companies refusing to transport Ukrainian refugees with their pets, we are seeing an alarming number of cats and dogs being abandoned at local animal shelters, with charities and relatives, or even abandoned near airports or bus stations,” Rudd said. Tombrock, CEO of HSI/Europe. “This dilemma unnecessarily adds to the pressure refugees already face as their pets are often beloved members of extended families. It also puts additional pressure on charities and local authorities that need to find a solution for the animals coming from Ukraine. HSI/Europe contacted HSI/European companies Moving across Europe, and asked them to do everything they could to allow Ukrainian refugees with pets access to planes and buses, several leading companies have already responded and are doing a great job helping to make travel pet-friendly.More carriers have to Take measures to ensure that no one fleeing Ukraine is unnecessarily separated from their pet.”
This appeal targets freight forwarders, logistics professionals and other players in the transportation industry as well as bus and airline companies. HSI / Europe urges you to:
- To ease procedures and restrictions for taking animals on board.
- To inform and empower company employees to make safe and pet-friendly decisions on site.
- Reducing or waiving animal transportation fees.
- Increase the number of animals allowed on board the ship and provide passengers with animal transport containers if necessary.
Airlines, buses, and trains without pets can also help by explaining their policies and regulations on their websites and by offering free telephone support in multiple languages.
An increasing number of airlines, buses and freight companies have responded positively, demonstrating that safe and pet-friendly transportation for Ukrainian refugees is possible. In cooperation with the Polish airline LOT, HSI provides animal boxes for passengers of Ukrainian nationalities departing from Warsaw and Krakow between May 1, 2022 and May 31, 2022. Cats, dogs and ferrets traveling with their owners are also carried in the cabin or in the luggage compartment free of charge. The number of pets allowed to ride has also been increased.
KLM and Bulgaria Air also offer free pet transportation. Polish bus company Szwagropol and Europe’s largest long-distance bus operator FlixBus – which also operates Eurolines in Romania, Italy, Spain and France – allows pets on board and has authorized personnel to adjust local procedures when necessary and in line with safety regulations. So far there has been no positive feedback from low-cost airlines. Professional animal carriers IMG and Budapest Vet Cargo offer free advice and assistance in obtaining the necessary travel documents and vaccinations. HSI is also committed to providing free veterinary care to pets from Ukraine and has started a comprehensive initiative with Vets for Ukrainian Pets (link).
More than 5.8 million Ukrainians have fled their country since the war began, many taking their beloved pets with them. Authorities and non-profit organizations in neighboring countries are under enormous pressure to care for refugees and their pets. The travel industry can be of great support here by ensuring that refugees and their pets can continue their journey together safely.
References in this article to specific trade or business names or companies are for informational purposes only and do not constitute or imply any endorsement by Humane Society International or any of its affiliates.
HSI / Europe
Eva-Maria Heinen, Director of Communications and Public Relations, Germany
Original content from: Humane Society International / Europe (HSI), transmitted by aktuell news