International airline fined £142,000 for breaching animal welfare guidelines

Iberia Airlines have been fined over £142,000 for failing to adhere to strict guidelines that govern the welfare of animals during flights – making it the largest fine for such offences in the UK.

The City of London Corporation, which operates the UK’s Live Animal Border Inspection Post (BIP) at Heathrow, prosecuted the airline following an investigation into the death of a number of capybaras – a small animal native to South America, last year.

And on a separate occasion in January this year, the airline was found to have transported a dog in a container that was much smaller than required by international regulations.

The airline was sentenced at Uxbridge Magistrate’s Court on Thursday 10 October.

Jeremy Simons, the City of London Corporation’s Chair of the Port Heath & Environmental Services Committee, said:

“We have a duty to protect the health and welfare of animals that come into the UK via Heathrow.

“This includes ensuring they are transported in line with International Air Transport Association (IATA) requirements and that suffering should not be caused.

“I hope this result serves as both a warning and reminder to airlines that animal welfare is paramount.”

The City Corporation’s Animal Health Service includes the operation of Heathrow Animal Reception Centre (HARC), which assesses all animals entering the UK through Heathrow Airport. It makes sure all airlines and animals comply with relevant legislation and that the UK is protected from diseases like rabies.

The City of London Corporation is responsible for ensuring compliance with the relevant Animal Health and Welfare legislation for imported animals into the whole of Greater London.


Notes to Editors

Breakdown of fine

Fine total: £136,000

Costs: £6227

Statutory surcharge: £170

Total: £142,397

About the City of London Corporation

The City of London Corporation is the governing body of the Square Mile dedicated to a vibrant and thriving City, supporting a diverse and sustainable London within a globally successful UK. www.cityoflondon.gov.uk

Media enquires

Carl Locsin, Media Officer, City of London Corporation

T 020 7332 3654 / M 07388 862 229

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