Home News Pen Farthing’s abandonment of rescued animals at Kabul divides Britons

Pen Farthing’s abandonment of rescued animals at Kabul divides Britons


Britons were split 50/50 over whether Pen Farthing’s cats and dogs should be rescued. In a poll of 4,568 people held between 11am August 26 and 12pm August 27 on Express.co.uk, 52 percent of people said the animals should not be rescued at all, compared to 35 percent of voters who said they should be rescued as soon as possible, and an additional 13 percent who said they should be rescued after vulnerable people have been evacuated. 


One voter said: “Of course we have to take the animals, it would be heartless not to.”

Another commented: “We must rescue the animals, we Britons are always kind to animals.”

Others disagreed, claiming it would be immoral to rescue animals when there were 10,000 desperate Afghans waiting at the gates of Kabul airport to be evacuated.

A reader remarked: “Let’s suppose it was you over there with your children or brother or sister, would you want them to stay while animals were taken back to the UK?”

Chwarae Teg agreed: “Much as I love animals, people in distress should ALWAYS take priority if there has to be a choice.”

Mr Farthing, a former Royal Marines commando and founder of the Nowzad Dogs charity, claimed that he was not prioritising pets over people by commissioning a private plane to evacuate his animals, because they would be put into the hold, where humans cannot be carried.

However, critics of the activist say that regardless of his plan to put the cats and dogs in the hold, the runway time and manpower it would take to load the animals, would take away from the efforts to evacuate vulnerable people.

After weeks of petitioning for “operation ark”, the Ministry of Defence issued permission for the Nowzad team and animals to board their private plane back to the UK, after initial resistance.

Mr Farthing and his team made a midnight journey to the airport, during which, they were stopped by the Taliban and threatened with guns.

Once arriving at the airport, they could not get the truck loads of animals through the crowds of desperate Afghans, and after waiting 10 hours, Mr Farthing made a direct plea to the Taliban to facilitate safe passage for them.

Taliban at Kabul airport proceeded to refuse their passage onto the private plane despite UK government approval, because of a change that President Biden had made to evacuation policy just two hours before, claims Mr Farthing.

READ MORE: Australian man beaten up by Taliban then has rifle fired over his head

Mr Farthing told the BBC: “Biden had changed policy on who’s allowed in.

“We were forced to leave the airfield, and just as we did, that’s when those attacks happened and then all hell broke loose. It was just the most horrific thing.

“We were 300m inside. It had taken 36 hours to achieve that. I had all my staff, all dogs and cats.

“We had gone through hell to get there.

“There’s nothing I can do.

“The staff are telling me it’s time for me to go. They don’t think a foreigner will be welcome here.

“My mission to get them out of Afghanistan has just ended because Joe Biden stopped it.”

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