A dog died on a cross channel ferry run by P&O due to heat exposure this week, the owners came down to their car after the 1.5 hour crossing to find one of their beloved pets dead, this is not an isolated incident.
Cross channel ferries refuse to allow owners to have their pets with them, no matter what the weather, and many people believe that this is an animal welfare issue. Obviously this is a very sad incident and the latest spell of very hot weather should make ferry operators consider changing the rules, as animals confined in vehicles are at risk.
A petition has been started by a friend of the dog owners, which you can sign on-line here.
Update 21.7.2014 – P&O Ferries Facebook statement about changing their regulations.
The pet was one of three dogs being driven with a family of two adults and three children from Germany to the UK via the company’s 90-minute Calais – Dover service.
Temperatures ashore were oppressively hot and humid last week, leading to heat-stress health alerts from weather forecasters and medical authorities.
However coastal temperatures were considerably below those inland, and in the English Channel lower again due to the cooling effects of low sea temperatures. On the ship concerned ventilation of the deck where the vehicle concerned was parked is excellent with a constant through flow of cooling fresh air along the entire length of the deck. The deck is not exposed to the sun’s rays and P&O Ferries’ staff always respond positively to requests from pet owners to check on their animals during the crossings.
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. However the company is now reviewing its policy.
This was a hugely distressing incident for the family concerned and for P&O Ferries’ personnel who tried to revive the animal for 20 minutes, administering CPR and oxygen. The family has the company’s sincere sympathies.