NFP Dog Fight Over Flying Kangaroo Price Hike
9 December 2014 at 2:56 pm
A small animal rescue Not for Profit in Western Australia is taking on the flying kangaroo in a social media battle to reverse a 400 percent price hike in freight charges to move rescued animals to safe havens around the state.
The animal rescue organisation, called SAFE, has begun an online petition calling on Qantas to reverse its decision to significantly increase animal freight costs in November claiming the move has put their live-saving volunteer work in jeopardy.
“Homeless puppies and kittens in the state's North-West, which would have previously been saved and rehomed by being flown down to Perth by the group, now face little chance of survival because of a more than 400 per cent increase in freight charges introduced by Qantas last month,” SAFE founder Sue Hedley said.
Hedley said the Qantas price hike now means that to fly a 45kg dog from Karratha to Perth now costs $421, where prior to the rate charge it was $79. To transport a 10kg dog from Kununurra to Perth is now $354, previously it was $33.
“The ability to fly animals out of the north-west has been an integral part of the life-saving work of Saving Animals from Euthanasia (SAFE) since its inception in 2003, an option that is no longer financially viable.
“I didn’t see the email alerting us to the price hike and we now have an outstanding Qantas bill of $7500 for November that we haven’t paid.”
She said the decision by Qantas Freight to dramatically increase their charges for flying pets to safety will result in the certain deaths of thousands of helpless animals.
“SAFE rescues hundreds of animals from Newman, Tom Price, Hedland, Karratha, Broome and Kununurra and flies them to new homes in Perth and throughout the country, but this is now impossible because of Qantas's decision to increase freight charges so dramatically," she said.
"The flow on effect will mean dozens of re-homeable animals in the north-west will be euthanized by pounds each week or die in appalling conditions, as SAFE can no longer afford to rescue and transport them to safety.
“Everyone at SAFE is completely devastated by Qantas's decision; we’ve saved thousands of animals over the years and it’s now unbearable to think that thousands more lives will be lost due to the airline’s cost cutting measures..
“SAFE branches in Newman, Hedland, Tom Price, Karratha, Kununurra and Broome have saved over 5,000 animals in the last five years, with a huge percentage of rescued animals flying with Qantas to reach their permanent homes.
"We are imploring Qantas to reverse their decision, particularly at this time of year as we are so close to Christmas when there are more animals in need than at any other time of year, but to date our pleas have brought no reversal of their decision.
“We’re now urging the community to join us in pleading with Qantas to rethink its decision, and reinstate its former rates to enable us to continue helping to save animals from WA’s far North-West.”
Hedley said the organisation had already begun euthanizing dogs and cats that it can’t afford to transport to Perth.
Qantas has responded saying it had worked very hard to maintain the discounts for SAFE and that the new rates are still significantly lower than the new retail rates for transporting pets.
“We can no longer sustain the deeply reduced rates previously offered but we will continue to provide SAFE with significant, double digit percentage discounts,” a spokesperson for Qantas said.
It’s understood that the new rates for pet transfers via Qantas freight which came into effect from November 1 can be as high as $700 one way depending on the size and destination of the animal.
SAFE founder Sue Hedley said she’s not prepared to give up the fight against Qantas to save thousands of cats and dogs.