‘I am not luggage!’ Flash mob aims to change rules after cat deaths

Legion Media
Two cats died recently during an Aeroflot flight. The incident led dozens of outraged pet owners to worry about travelling with their pets. 

A second scandal involving animals has befallen Aeroflot this year. This time it’s more tragic than funny: on the flight from New York to Sofia with the transfer in Moscow, two out of three cats were discovered dead while another had frostbite. Their containers were seriously damaged during transportation.

 The owner, Maxim Chumachenko, demanded to open an investigation under the article of ‘animal cruelty’: “My claim to the people who did this, I think, will never be satisfied. There is an article of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation concerning this - Cruelty to animals. I want them to be convicted solely on this article” - said Maxim in a video on his Facebook account

Aeroflot didn’t take long to react, issuing an official comment and shifting the blame onto the Moscow Sheremetyevo Airport’s handling company, which, in turn, issued an explanation over its own official website. Both arrived at the same conclusion - that changes in the technology for servicing luggage and containers with animals must be made, and existing standards improved.  

Посмотреть эту публикацию в Instagram

«Ваша собака для нас- чемодан» @aeroflot ⠀ ⠀ Халатное отношение к чему-либо никогда не заканчивается хорошо, а когда так относятся к ЖИВЫМ существам- это уж подавно не остаётся незамеченным. ⠀ Речь идёт о ситуации, произошедшей на днях, когда на рейсе Аэрофлота погибли животные, да и не только об этой. Я не хочу никого обвинять и говорить, что люди, которые причастны к случившемуся, ужасные и безответственные...ведь это и так всем понятно. ⠀ Я просто хочу, чтобы таких ситуаций не было больше никогда и надеюсь, что ошибки, которые люди совершили сейчас, послужат уроком для остальных. ⠀ Я хочу, чтобы к животным относились уважительно. Чтобы за их жизни не было СТРАШНО! ⠀ ОНИ ЖИВЫЕ!! ОНИ НЕ ЧЕМОДАНЫ! ⠀ Поддерживаю @gleb_kornilov @a.makedonskaya и всех тех, кто не остался в стороне ✈️ 💔 #янебагаж #янечемодан

Публикация от A N A S T A S I A (@ana.kurkina)

The case was heatedly discussed in public. Pet owners were really not pleased with the official reactions and started to share their own experiences, resulting in an online flash mob, where cats and dogs are sitting inside suitcases with the note "I am not a luggage – I am a passenger!” The flash mob has found support among famous Russian pet-bloggers, as well as animal lovers abroad

There is an interesting story about the official hashtags of this mob. The first one #янечемодан (#iamnotluggage) was created following another story wherein owner Anastasia had lost her dog on her flight from Perm to Berlin through Moscow. Airport representatives responded with the following shocking phrase: ”Your dog is luggage to us, and it seems that we left it in Moscow”. Luckily, the dog was actually found there and reached Anastasia 12 hours later. He was as exhausted and shocked as his owner was. 

Another hashtag - #янебагаж (#iamnotbaggage) - was created following a recent story involving Aeroflot and a fat cat that was only about a couple pounds over the legal guidelines for onboard transportation - #бронебагаж (#broisnotbaggage). 

The owner of the dead cats in the current case is planning on fighting for changes in animal transportation rules. On his Facebook page Maxim started a movement calling for any support from animal lovers the world over. Moreover, his case drew attention to the earlier petition started by Anastasia after her accident. “We are obliged to remind the world of the need for a caring attitude to travelling animals” - said Maxim. 


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