Change Dangerous Animal Transport Regulations


Target: P&O Ferries CEO Helen Deeble

Goal: Implement changes to animal transport regulations which resulted in the death of a family pet on a ferry

A family pet was recently found dead due to heat exposure after being left in a car for the duration of a one-and-a-half hour ferry ride. The family, which has three dogs, was made to leave the dogs in their vehicle as their ferry, The Spirit of France, crossed the English Channel. When they arrived in Dover, England they found one of their dogs, three-year-old Merlin, to be dead. Unfortunately, the deaths are not isolated incidents, with animal casualties being reported worldwide after riding on ferries with similar regulations.

P&O, the European ferry company that was in charge of the Dover-Calais voyage, has strict rules about animal transport that they claim are for the safety of all passengers aboard. Dogs and cats are allowed to travel only if they are left inside vehicles, and their owners are not allowed onto the parking deck to visit their pets.

Animal transport laws in the United Kingdom state that “No person shall transport any animal in a way which causes or is likely to cause injury or unnecessary suffering to that animal.” Still, P&O demands that all pets are kept in cramped conditions, which when paired with hot weather and a lack of access to water, can be harmful and even deadly to pets.

P&O’s regulations were made without consideration to the welfare of its animal passengers, and have resulted in the unnecessary death of a family’s beloved pet dog. In order to prevent similar deaths in the future, a change in the regulations is required to allow animals to travel alongside their owners, where their needs may be tended to. Your signature will ask P&O to immediately review and change their regulations, and add pet-friendly areas on ferries where necessary.


Dear Dear Ms. Deeble,

Three-year-old pug Merlin was recently found dead of heat stroke after being left in a vehicle during a ferry ride from Calais, France to Dover, England. The family pet was made to stay in the car unattended due to P&O’s regulations on animal transport.

United Kingdom animal welfare laws state that no animal should be transported in such a manner that poses a threat to the health and well-being of the animal. P&O is doing just that, forcing pets to stay in vehicles during voyages and not allowing owner supervision. I ask that these ridiculous rules be changed immediately, and that pet-friendly areas on ships are designated where owners can take care of their pets during ferry trips.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Snottywong via Creative Commons

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One Comment

  1. Cecily Colloby. says:

    This is bloody outrageous. Sue the ferry company-they deserve it. Where’s the harm in allowing a dog out of the car with it’s family?? Another bloody insane “health and safety ” rule which has backfired and ended in the suffering and death of this poor little dog.

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