Kerala

Pet cat deported to Jeddah

The Customs sleuths at the international airport here on Friday seized a Persian cat that was being imported illegally to the country.

While the couple who owned the cat permitted entry, their pet waited at the airport for 24 hours before being deported to Jeddah from where it had flown in.

According to Customs officials, the cat was brought illegally to the country and it did not even posses a health certificate from the country of its origin.

“Strangely enough, the airline permitted the animal on board without any documents, causing all the confusion,” said Sumit Kumar, Customs Commissioner, Kochi.

The cat was then subjected to adjudication and the pet owner was fined ₹5000 for the illegal export. A show cause notice has been issued to the Saudi Airlines, which was held responsible for the violation.

The department is now awaiting the airline’s response to initiate further action.

Altercation

Meanwhile, as the Customs department proceeded with the formalities to deport the pet an altercation broke out between the airline and the pet owners, who are from Alappuzha.

The couple insisted on the airline giving them free tickets to drop the cat back their home in Jeddah, though to no avail.

In between, the Customs department was busy handling a flurry of calls from people including a few top politicians in Kerala, inquiring on the current status of the ‘detained couple’.

The tension in the air eventually gave way to emotional scenes as the couple finally agreed to deport their cat.

“The scenes were quite filmy, as the couple could not control their emotions. We definitely understand their feelings but were helpless as permitting the cat in would have compromised on the bio safety norms,” Mr. Sumit Kumar added.

The law of the country permits import of pets only on production of health certificate and upon examination by animal quarantine offices. Further, import of pets are allowed only through the designated airports such as New Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Bengaluru and Hyderabad.

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Printable version | Apr 21, 2021 10:36:21 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/pet-cat-deported-to-jeddah/article22924959.ece

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