Furore over dog's death on ferry

The animal died on the crossing from Dover to Calais

The animal died on the crossing from Dover to Calais

First published in National News © by

A ferry company has defended itself against allegations of animal cruelty after a family's pet dog died on a Channel crossing.

Current rules do not allow pets to be taken out of vehicles on crossings, and neither can owners sit with them.

On a hot day last week, the Wallace family from Brookwood, Surrey, were travelling with their sons and three dogs, including four-year-old pug Merlin, on a P&O Ferries' Calais to Dover crossing.

On arrival at Dover, the Wallaces found Merlin unconscious, and the animal died despite efforts to revive him.

On Twitter, P&O have been accused of cruelty to animals.

P&O Ferries spokesman Chris Laming said today: "We are reviewing our policy concerning dogs. But this particular dog was in a car with two other dogs which were fine, and there were a total of 20 dogs on that crossing.

"We also carried more than 250 dogs last week and the carrying of pets on board has worked well since it was introduced in 2000."

A post on the company's Facebook page said: "Many airlines refuse to transport certain breeds of dogs, notably pugs, bulldogs and other brachycephalic breeds, due to the respiratory issues from which these animals are prone to suffer.

"P&O Ferries, which carries more than 50,000 pet dogs a year of all breeds, is reluctant to stop offering a service to the owners of certain breeds, believing that owners are best placed to judge the suitability of conditions when transporting their animals."

Comments (5)

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12:11pm Fri 25 Jul 14

King Joke says...

Instead of stopping the service altogether, why not just dogs to leave the vehicles? As long as they're on a lead I don't see the problem. A patch of butcher's grass up on deck somewhere for calls of nature would meet all possible needs.
Instead of stopping the service altogether, why not just dogs to leave the vehicles? As long as they're on a lead I don't see the problem. A patch of butcher's grass up on deck somewhere for calls of nature would meet all possible needs. King Joke
  • Score: 7

12:36pm Fri 25 Jul 14

RichardR1 says...

Leaving dogs in the hold of a ship is hardly dog welfare. Perhaps owners should seek other forms of transport
Leaving dogs in the hold of a ship is hardly dog welfare. Perhaps owners should seek other forms of transport RichardR1
  • Score: 1

12:45pm Fri 25 Jul 14

imustbeoldiwearacap says...

There are alternative services for carrying dogs - the Tunnel for one (where you stay with your dog in the car) and Brittany Ferries routes that have kennels and/or cabins where your dog can stay during the crossing. P&O have to live by the anti-rabies rules. When dogs are in cars the cars are on a deck with plenty of ventilation - the death of the dog was probably coincidental to being on the ferry!
There are alternative services for carrying dogs - the Tunnel for one (where you stay with your dog in the car) and Brittany Ferries routes that have kennels and/or cabins where your dog can stay during the crossing. P&O have to live by the anti-rabies rules. When dogs are in cars the cars are on a deck with plenty of ventilation - the death of the dog was probably coincidental to being on the ferry! imustbeoldiwearacap
  • Score: 6

12:47pm Fri 25 Jul 14

King Joke says...

The problem is, Eurostar won't allow dogs - a preposterous rule given that every other inter-city operator either side of the channel does allow them.

You can take dogs on the Harwich-Hoek van Holland ferry but that is a b|oody long way round if you're going to France.

Ferry operators in general are utterly hopeless and unhelpful to anyone who is very slightly different from their model of family-in-a-car which is most profitable to them. Many refuse to take foot passengers, and those that do won't let them on with a dog.
The problem is, Eurostar won't allow dogs - a preposterous rule given that every other inter-city operator either side of the channel does allow them. You can take dogs on the Harwich-Hoek van Holland ferry but that is a b|oody long way round if you're going to France. Ferry operators in general are utterly hopeless and unhelpful to anyone who is very slightly different from their model of family-in-a-car which is most profitable to them. Many refuse to take foot passengers, and those that do won't let them on with a dog. King Joke
  • Score: 3

12:49pm Fri 25 Jul 14

King Joke says...

Imustbeold - this is the C21st and there are pet passports. The 'rabies' excuse is a lame one ferry operators use to avoid having to inconvenience themselves.
Imustbeold - this is the C21st and there are pet passports. The 'rabies' excuse is a lame one ferry operators use to avoid having to inconvenience themselves. King Joke
  • Score: 6
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