(Blogger’s Note: I think this will go on record as one of the most unusual horse health news stories of the year. I’m not sure whether the owner of this horse is a criminal mastermind or terribly naive…)
Baggage handlers at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport made an interesting discovery one day last week: among the bags offloaded from a flight from Germany was a large dog crate. It was labeled for transfer to a flight to Guatemala.
There’s nothing unusual so far. Pets ship through Atlanta all the time and handlers don’t raise an eyebrow.
But this crate whinnied.
Inside, airport security found a miniature horse.
International health regulations are quite different for horses, who are considered livestock, than for dogs and cats and parakeets so a major news story was born.
The outcome? Get the horse out of the USA! They gave her some hay and water, sterilized the dog crate and Virkon, and she was on the conveyor belt again. The filly was shipped on to her destination. FoxNews reports that the owner and the airline will be charged with animal cruelty.
Nowhere in any of the reports is there any mention of the airline check-in person in Germany who accepted the crate. He or she either didn’t know international shipping regulations…or didn’t look inside. No one else in the entire chain of getting the horse into the terminal and onto and off the plane noticed that it wasn’t a dog, either.
Meanwhile, no reports have said in what sort of container the horse was shipped forward. Do you think they put her back in the dog crate?
I can’t get my contact lens fluid onto a plane but someone can get a horse through? Airport “security” really inspires confidence! Too bad an innocent animal was caught in the middle. I would have thought they’d sent it into quarantine, but I guess it was just passing through…It’s easy to see how an animal infected with microbes could be a bioterrorist’s dream.