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Animal Rescuer Pen Farthing Insulted UK Officials So They Would Clear Kabul Airlift, Report Says

© REUTERS / Omar SobhaniPen Farthing, founder of British charity Nowzad, an animal shelter, stands in front of a cage on the outskirts of Kabul May 1, 2012. A former Royal Marine, Farthing adopted his dog Nowzad, named after a Helmand district, during his tour there in 2006. He then set up the charity, where dogs and some cats are neutered and vaccinated against rabies before their journeys abroad. Nowzad has given homes to over 330 dogs since it was founded, mostly to soldiers from the U.S. and Britain, but also from South Africa, Australia, Canada and the Netherlands. Picture taken May 1, 2012.
Pen Farthing, founder of British charity Nowzad, an animal shelter, stands in front of a cage on the outskirts of Kabul May 1, 2012. A former Royal Marine, Farthing adopted his dog Nowzad, named after a Helmand district, during his tour there in 2006. He then set up the charity, where dogs and some cats are neutered and vaccinated against rabies before their journeys abroad. Nowzad has given homes to over 330 dogs since it was founded, mostly to soldiers from the U.S. and Britain, but also from South Africa, Australia, Canada and the Netherlands. Picture taken May 1, 2012. - Sputnik International, 1920, 29.08.2021
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On Friday, the UK Defence Ministry said that animal rescuer Pen Farthing, along with dozens of cats and dogs, left the Kabul airport after a charter flight was cleared for them. The news sparked heated debate, as not everyone approved of the animals' evacuation, because preference should be granted to humans.
Pen Farthing, a former Royal Marine and animal rescuer who evacuated 140 dogs and 60 cats, apparently spewed rude tirades towards British military officials to have his flight cleared, The Daily Mail reported, citing a leaked voicemail.
"Here’s the deal buddy", Farthing reportedly addressed Peter Quentin, an adviser to Defence Secretary Ben Wallace. "You either get me that f*cking ISAF number [‘An ISAF number’ is a military callsign which has not been in use since 2014, according to The Daily Mail] and you get me permission to get on that f*cking airfield or tomorrow morning I am going to turn on you. The whole f*cking country… is going to know that it is you."
According to the report, Farthing also threatened to "spend the rest of my time f*cking destroying" him if he continued to block the flight. The Daily Mail also described the reaction of Quentin's friends, who said that he was particularly angered when Farthing told him he was "not going to take this bullsh*t from people like you". 
The friends cited in the report said Quentin has been personally involved in the ongoing evacuation in Kabul, and himself operated in the country and studied the Dari dialect.
"This selfish charade has cost lives", a defense source told The Daily Mail, while another defense source described the Ministry's help to evacuate animals from Kabul as "the first British Government explicitly committed to the idea of non-white people as equivalent to animals since the abolition of slavery."

'Why Is My Five-year-old Worth Less Than Your Dog?'

Defense officials cited in the report are not the only ones slamming Farthing and UK authorities for evacuating animals instead of humans. When the UK Defence Ministry announced on Friday that the flight for Farthing and the pets from Kabul had been cleared by the UK government, it immediately triggered an online backlash.
​Among the many critics was former NATO advisor to the Afghan Ministry, Charlie Herbert, who called on those involved in the pet evacuation "utter bastards".
"You put his dogs and cats above the ten Afghan families that I’ve been trying to get into the EHC for the last 72 hours. You utter bastards. I will never forgive you", Herbert tweeted, tagging UK Defence Secretary, Farthing and the latter's charity organization, Nowzad.
He was joined by other netizens who raised eyebrows in response to the news. Some users suggested that not all of the the animals were pets, but rescue dogs or cats needed for veterans with PTSD.
​Tom Tugendhat, a senior Tory MP, condemned the way MoD resources were used for the evacuation of animals and not humans, according to The Daily Mail.
The MP revealed that a former interpreter, now stuck in Kabul, had said to him: "Why is my five-year-old worth less than your dog?", and he did not answer.
"It’s not the aeroplanes that are the problem. There’s quite a lot of space on the aeroplanes", he said, cited by the outlet. "The difficulty is getting people into and out of the airport. And we have just used a lot of troops to bring in 200 dogs. Meanwhile, my interpreter’s family are likely to be killed. We run an NHS in the UK that taxes us all about one in seven pounds we spend. What would you say if I sent an ambulance to save my dog rather than to save your mother?’".
Farthing tweeted on Friday that "the whole team", along with cats and dogs, were safe "300m inside the airport perimeter", but were later turned away after US President Joe Biden changed the paperwork rules "just 2 hours earlier".
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