CFIA cancels imports of some puppies from Ukraine after dead dogs found on plane

TORONTO — The Canadian Food Inspection Agency says it will not allow commercial puppies under the age of eight months to be imported from Ukraine after dozens of dead or sick dogs were found on a flight at Toronto's airport.

The agency says following an investigation into the June 13 flight it has cancelled import permits for such dogs from Ukraine.

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It says its decision is based on possible failures to comply with import requirements, including animal welfare concerns.

The agency says the ban will remain in effect until it is satisfied that import conditions and international transport standards are in place and that animals will travel safely in the future.

Approximately 500 puppies landed at Pearson International Airport last month.

Thirty-eight were found dead on arrival, and many others were dehydrated, weak or vomiting.

"The Canadian Food Inspection Agency takes its mandate for protecting animal welfare very seriously," the agency said in a release.

In June, Ukraine International Airlines apologized for the "tragic loss of animal life" on one of its flights.

In a post on Facebook, the airline said it was working with local authorities to determine what happened and to make any changes necessary to prevent such a situation from happening again.

Last month, Rebecca Aldworth, executive director of the Canadian branch of Humane Society International, said what happened to the dogs raises a lot of questions that the Canadian public wants answers to.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 7, 2020

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