Snakes, frogs and starfish among animals which pass through Heathrow Airport

Snakes, frogs and starfish are among the millions of animals passing through Heathrow Airport every year.

Approximately 19,000 dogs and cats, 400 horses, 2,000 birds, 28 million fish, 50 zoo animals and 150,000 reptiles are imported through the nation’s biggest airport.

They are collected from the aircraft and brought for inspection at the Heathrow Animal Reception Centre (HARC).

The animals are provided temporary accommodation while paperwork and shipments are checked before they can reunited with owners.

Heathrow Animal Reception Centre
An owner is reunited with his springer spaniels (Aaron Chown/PA)

Springer spaniels, a German shepherd, a pug and a corgi were among the species of dog at the centre on Thursday.

There was also an adult white tree frog, a boa constrictor, a royal python, a clownfish, a starfish and a neon marine fish.

The facility, owned and operated by the City of London Corporation, can receive and hold any animal species.

It works with airlines to ensure animals are well looked after and meet the requirements of the Pet Travel Scheme, which allows them to travel easily without undergoing quarantine.