Wales breaking news plus traffic, weather and travel updates (Monday, August 30)

Animal shelter staff still waiting on Kabul evacuation

Paul “Pen” Farthing is still working to help evacuate 68 animal shelter staff and family members from Afghanistan after ensuring the transportation of over 150 dogs and cats to the UK. Mr Farthing arrived at London’s Heathrow Airport in a privately funded charter flight at about 7.30am on Sunday, following his Operation Ark campaign to get workers and animals from the Nowzad shelter in Kabul out of the country. However, he spoke of the need for less criticism and more action, as 68 Nowzad staff and dependents, including 25 children and one new-born baby, are still in the country. Mr Farthing said:

We’d like to thank the Home Office, FCDO, MoD and all of Govt for their support with Op Ark, and look forward to working closely with them over the coming weeks whilst we complete our mission, getting those 68 people out of Afghanistan and back to safety.

Whilst those vulnerable staff, mostly young women, remain in danger in Afghanistan, we shall not rest.

In the same way that the MoD needs to be left alone to get on with the important work of evacuating staff and troops out of Afghanistan, likewise we need to focus on the second and most important part of Op Ark, getting those vulnerable vets and vet nurses and their children out of Kabul, rather than having to deal with ill-informed comments from MPs, the press and armchair pundits.

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