The Spectator

Pet project: how many dogs and cats are there in Britain?


Escape velocity

The evacuation of Afghanistan was likened to the fall of Saigon on 30 April 1975. What were the logistics of that operation?

— Although most US troops had left Vietnam, 5,000 civilians remained. Some left during the month, but ambassador Graham Martin gave the order to evacuate everyone only on 29 April.

— The only available airbase had been shelled and there were no sea or land routes, so the only way out was by helicopter. In 24 hours 7,000 people were evacuated, including 5,500 Vietnamese citizens. Helicopters took off from the US embassy compound every ten minutes.

— It was a 50-minute ride to US warships waiting off the coast.

Pet project

The government was criticised for devoting time to evacuating 173 dogs and cats from a Kabul animal sanctuary while many humans were left behind. How many dogs and cats are there in Britain and how many have been ‘rescued’?

— The RSPCA says there are 9 million dogs and 8 million cats. In 2019 it took in 10,564 dogs and 29,432 cats. A total of 39,178 animals were rehoused.

— The PDSA puts the numbers at 9.6 million dogs and 10.7 million cats. It says 10% of British dogs were sourced abroad.

— The Pet Food Manufacturers Association puts the population at 12.5 million dogs and 12.2 million cats.

Hardly ever happen?

Ida hit Louisiana as a Category 4 hurricane. Are hurricanes becoming more common in the US? Number of hurricanes (Category 1 and above making landfall by decade):

1930s 18
1940s 23
1950s 18
1960s 14
1970s 12
1980s 16
1990s 14
2000s 19
2010s 13
Source: NOAA

The doctor will see you now

GPs were reportedly being paid £100 an hour to work remotely from home.

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