Wednesday, May 22, 2024
Qatar Airways Cargo unveils world’s largest live animal centre

Qatar Airways Cargo unveils world’s largest live animal centre

Putting welfare at the heart of their operations, Qatar Airways Cargo (QR Cargo) has opened the largest facility for handling live animals with a focus on going beyond business to cater to the needs of the animals they carry.

“I’m extraordinarily proud of this facility,” Mark Drusch, the recently appointed Chief Officer Cargo at QR Cargo, said at the inauguration of the animal centre. “Not only is it new, clean and big, we’ve really put a lot of thought into the emotional aspects of when an animal is travelling.”

“We are a five star airline. We have a five star airport. We want to make sure all of our products are the best in the world, developing everything to a leading standard.

“With our live animal product, we have build a facility that is, by all metrics, a leading facility in size and the quality of the care that the animals we handle will be given.”

This commitment is reflected in the design of the facility, from padded floors in the horse handling area to protect their hooves to the QR Cargo selecting the best music to play to calm dogs and cats while in their kennels.

With Qatar primarily being a transit hub, the entire process is focused around making travel as seamless and stressless for the customers and animals that the airline serves.

“As an owner, you want to make sure your animals are not stressed, their emotional needs are met. That’s why we focused on the welfare aspects as much as the physical aspects.

“It’s just part of our DNA, our ethos. We want to be leading and providing the best to our customers, whether human or animals. That’s the goal here.”

READ: New Qatar Cargo COC outlines priorities

Global vision

Two quotes displayed in the new centre reflect the responsibility QR Cargo feels around the transportation and protection of animals: “This planet is our legacy” and “those who teach us the most about humanity aren’t always human.”

QR Cargo’s primary focus has been on building its own product to meet the standards they strive for but, more than that, there is a drive to change the industry and society for the better, something Drusch made clear is not just a corporate approach but of personal importance to the team.

“One of our colleagues who was very involved with animals has his own private farm with horses, sheep, goats, everything, so he fully understands the importance of treating your animals well. Taking care of more than just food and water, ensuring the right temperature, an environment that is not stressful andis humane. That’s what we’re focused on,” Drusch explained.

“He helped to ensure a lot of the standards. He was involved for the last four and half years in the design of the facility to ensure that what he knew personally, as an owner of animals, was built into this facility.

“After the plans were prepared, we did our own review, all of us being animal lovers, saying let’s add this and do that. So, it’s really been a great project.”

Picture of Edward Hardy

Edward Hardy

Having become a journalist after university, Edward Hardy has been a reporter and editor at some of the world's leading publications and news sites. In 2022, he became Air Cargo Week's Editor. Got news to share? Contact me on


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