Pen Farthing’s mission to rescue animals put soldiers in danger when cats and dogs got priority over Afghan translators during Kabul’s fall, whistleblower claims

  • Government rescued 170 animals after former Royal Marine Pen Farthing
  • Un whistleblower from the Foreign Office has claimed that this decision placed British soldiers in danger
  • Raphael Marshall claims it was incorrect Mr Farthing’s charity received priority 
  • American charity for animals still in Kabul is not suffering from mistreatment

The whistleblower claimed that British soldiers were placed at risk when they decided to evacuate Afghan animals.

Pen Farthing is a former Royal Marine. He convinced the Government that he could evacuate 170 animals and cats from Kabul.

He had taken care of the animals through his charity Nowzad.

Raphael Marshall stated that he was in agreement with the military about Mr Farthing’s charity being given priority, while translators would be left alone.

According to his statement, the ex-Foreign Office civil servant said that there is no reason to believe that the Taliban will target animal rights charity. It was not possible to prove that Nowzad’s personnel were at risk.

“By contrast, many other people would be left behind who were in danger of being killed. The UK did not have a war goal in Afghanistan to protect domestic animals.

Pen and Hannah Farthing with former Afghan fighting dog Nowzad and Tali Nowzad dogs charity, which rescues stray and abandoned animals from Afghanistan

Pen and Hannah Farthing, a former Afghan fighting dog Nowzad. Tali Nowzad is a charity that rescues abandoned and stray animals from Afghanistan.

Former Royal Marine Paul 'Pen' Farthing persuaded the Government to help him evacuate 170 dogs and cats from Kabul

Former Royal Marine Paul ‘Pen’ Farthing persuaded the Government to help him evacuate 170 dogs and cats from Kabul

Raphael Marshall (pictured), a junior civil servant, has claimed he was at times the only person dealing with thousands of emails from those desperate to flee the Taliban

Raphael Marshall, a junior civil servant claims he handled thousands of emails sent by those trying to flee from the Taliban.

Marshall says that the tradeoff was between Nowzad’s animals being transported and Afghan nationals being evacuated. 

It is possible that soldiers, who are tasked with leading the dogs through the crowd to the airport, could have been deployed elsewhere to assist in the evacuation of British or Afghan nationals.

“The fact that there were only a few British soldiers on hand to aid UK visa holders as well as British citizens crowded into the airport made it difficult to evacuate the people.

He stated that he wishes Nowzad’s staff all the best for their future in the UK, but they were not eligible to evacuate or for special assistance. British Army interpreters had priority. 

“I believe British soldiers were placed at risk to allow Nowzad’s animals in the airport.

Mr Farthing, pictured with Nowzad in 2013. The fighting dog inspired the name of his animal charity which was looking after cats and dogs in Afghanistan

Photo of Mr Farthing and Nowzad, 2013. His animal charity, which looked after dogs and cats in Afghanistan, was named for the fighting dog. 

Afghans struggle to reach the foreign forces to show their credentials to flee the country outside the Hamid Karzai International Airport, in Kabul, Afghanistan, in August

Afghans fight to access the foreign forces outside Kabul’s Hamid Karzai International Airport to provide proof of their citizenship to flee Afghanistan.

Marshall continued by stating that an American-based animal charity still exists in Kabul. He also said there has never been any abuse from the Taliban.

He wrote, “This supports the MoD/FCDO’s belief in the safety of Nowzad and its animals as well as its staff from Taliban attacks,” 

“Her Majesty’s Government moved animals that were not in danger of harm to the expense of evacuation of British citizens and persons at imminent risk of murder including interpreters.