Adur, West & East Worthing Party including East Arun

Thomas Cook Airlines guilty of causing unnecessary suffering to dog during flight

Thomas Cook Airlines guilty of causing unnecessary suffering to dog during flight

THOMAS Cook Airlines was fined a total of £6500 after being found guilty by Mid Sussex Magistrates on Friday October 28 of causing unnecessary suffering to a dog it was flying from Cyprus to Gatwick.

It was also ordered to pay £12,000 costs to West Sussex County Council Trading Standards Service.

Thomas Cook Airlines had denied causing unnecessary suffering, using a transport container that was not of the correct size and two offences regarding the incorrect labelling of the transport container.

The court heard that Trading Standards Officers attended Gatwick airport when Buster, an English Bulldog belonging to a member of the armed forces returning from duty in Cyprus, was found dead in a transport container on a Thomas Cook Airlines flight.

The court was told that snub-nosed breeds such as English Bulldogs, are more susceptible to breathing problems in times of stress and it heard that Buster’s container was too small and likely to have caused Buster unnecessary suffering during transportation.

The court also heard that before the flight was loaded at Larnaca airport unauthorised personnel had been permitted to move Buster’s container around in order to take photographs of Buster for personal purposes, contrary to the provisions of Thomas Cooks own Cargo Manual.

It was acknowledged by the defence that this unnecessary handling may have contributed to Buster’s stress.

Pete Bradbury, County Council Cabinet Member for Public Protection, said: “Our Trading Standards Service took this action because it is responsible for ensuring all carriers using the airport to transport animals comply with welfare regulations.”