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.

The petition started by Nina Gadsen, is calling on the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs to “ensure animal welfare is taken into account” so pets do not suffer.
DEFRA says that: Whenever animals are transported, including journeys with pets, the law says that: ‘No person shall transport any animal in a way which causes or is likely to cause injury or unnecessary suffering to that animal.’, and yet, ferry companies are insisting that pets remain in cars on unventilated car decks.
If you feel strongly enough that changes needed to be made on transporting dogs on cross channel ferries, them please sign the petition and pass the link on to friends.

Update 21.7.2014 – P&O Ferries Facebook statement about changing their regulations. 

P&O Ferries is reviewing its policy regarding the carriage of pets following the death of a pug dog on board one of its ships on Friday.
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.