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Animals airlifted out of Kabul by Pen Farthing were infected and could pass disease onto humans

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Animals flown in from Kabul by former Royal Marine Pen Farthing can transmit disease to humans

  • Pen Farthing helped air transport 173 cats and dogs from Nowzad shelter in Kabul
  • Some show traces of bacterial infection and can transmit disease to humans
  • Animals quarantined due to rabies prevalence in Afghanistan










Several of the animals flown from Kabul by a former Royal Marine were infected with diseases that can be transmitted to humans, government sources said last night.

Paul ‘Pen’ Farthing was accused by critics of ‘costing lives’ as a result of his August mission to evacuate 173 cats and dogs from the Nowzad animal shelter when the capital of Afghanistan fell to the Taliban.

A leaked voice message obtained at the time by The Mail on Sunday revealed the behind-the-scenes bitterness over the airlift, with Mr Farthing telling a Defense Department official that he would “f****** the rest of my time.” would’ destroy him if he didn’t get permission to fly out of the country.

Several of the animals flown from Kabul by a former Royal Marine (pictured) were infected with diseases that can be transmitted to humans, government sources said last night.

Now sources at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs say some of the animals on the airlift were infected with Brucella canis, a bacterial infection that can cause spontaneous abortions in affected animals – and in rare cases can be transmitted to humans.

All animals were quarantined due to the prevalence of rabies in Afghanistan.

A spokesperson for Defra said: ‘We have some of the strongest biosecurity and safety controls in the world to help protect people and animals from diseases entering the country.

“Rabies is endemic to Afghanistan and there are other diseases in dogs and cats not found in the UK that can be fatal to both humans and animals.

Mr Farthing (pictured) said: 'The Nowzad charity has always been in full compliance with the regulations drawn up by Defra for the importation of dogs from Afghanistan'

Mr Farthing (pictured) said: ‘The Nowzad charity has always been in full compliance with the regulations drawn up by Defra for the importation of dogs from Afghanistan’

“We can confirm that 12 dogs and two cats have been released in Nowzad after the necessary treatment process has been completed.

“The remaining animals are being cared for in secure facilities and will be released when their quarantine ends or when they comply with regulations.”

Mr Farthing said: ‘The Nowzad charity has always been in full compliance with the regulations drawn up by Defra for the importation of dogs from Afghanistan.

“If there are currently further tests required beyond what would normally be required for entry into the UK, then our charity will be more than happy to have those tests carried out by Defra.

“We are pleased to report that the first batch of 12 dogs and two cats were completely cleared last week. The rest will continue with their pre-determined quarantine under Defra regulations for entry into the UK.”

Paul 'Pen' Farthing (pictured in 2013) was accused by critics of 'costing lives' as a result of his August mission to evacuate 173 cats and dogs from Nowzad animal shelter, Kabul

Paul ‘Pen’ Farthing (pictured in 2013) was accused by critics of ‘costing lives’ as a result of his August mission to evacuate 173 cats and dogs from Nowzad animal shelter, Kabul

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