Canadian authorities have launched an investigation after 38 puppies were found dead on a Ukranian plane at Toronto, Canada.
At least 500 puppies were on board the Ukraine International Airlines (UIA) plane at Toronto Pearson Airport but 38 of them died, Canadian officials said on Sunday.
Abby Lorenzen, a dog carer who was picking up another animal from the airport cargo area where the puppies were discovered, branded the sight of the dead dogs a ‘horror scene’.
It is not clear if other types of animals were also on board but Abby Lorenzen said there were 572 animals on board and that ‘It was a nightmare.’ .
According to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, the remaining surviving dogs were suffering from dehydration, weakness and vomiting and after seeing the condition of the dogs the agency said it ‘will determine next steps once the investigation is complete.’ .
According to reports in Ukraine, the temperature was 33C at the time the animals were loaded to fly from Ukraine to Canada. with some footgae in Ukraine showing the animals in crates . The Airline, UIA has offered its ‘condolences for the tragic loss of animal life on our flight’ and said on Facebook that it was working with local Canadian authorities during the investigation.
The animals were French bulldogs, a popular breed in Canada. Scott Weese, a Professor at the Ontario Veterinary College, University of Guelph, told CBC News that puppy sales are ‘lucrative’ in the country.
According to Scott Weese, most buyers believe the animals are bred in Canada, but the reality is ‘we have no idea how many dogs come in, where they go, where they come from’. Mr Weese added that there was ‘potentially some organised crime component.’
He continued: ‘You mentioned 500 French bulldogs. If those are going for sale at $3,000 to $4,000 a dog, that’s a massive amount of money’.