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Take Action: Animals Flown as Cargo Get a First-Class Upgrade

Tuesday, August 14, 2012 - 11:15am
cat in a carrier

Guest blog written by Deborah Dubow Press, ASPCA Regulatory Affairs Manager.

We frequently hear tragic news stories involving animals traveling in airplane cargo holds, and it’s no wonder—these animals are exposed to lots of dangers in transit. They can be left on the tarmac in the hottest summer months, transported in unsafe carriers that do not meet humane standards, or be carelessly lost in the shuffle of air cargo traffic.

Currently, the Department of Transportation (DOT) requires airlines to report the losses, injuries and deaths of pets only. Reporting requirements exclude commercial shipments of animals—like a batch of puppies heading from a breeder to a pet store. This means that there are many appalling incidents the public never hears about. 

The DOT Responds
A new rule proposed by the DOT could lead to greater transparency by airlines and help give people a clearer picture of the risks involved in transporting animals as cargo. The new rule would require airlines to report incidents involving commercially shipped cats and dogs, as well as more than double the number of airlines required to report incidents.  

While the proposed rule is better than the one in place now, it still has room for improvement. For instance, it doesn’t cover all animals transported as part of a commercial air shipment—only dogs and cats. 

Take Action!
The Department of Transportation is accepting comments until August 28. Please tell them that all animals deserve to be protected during air transport while being shipped as cargo. In your comments, please include the following:

  • You support the DOT’s decision to extend coverage to all dogs and cats.
  • Reporting requirements are essential to inform consumers about the risks associated with transporting animals by air, and people deserve this information so they can make informed decisions about traveling safely with their pets.
  • You want the rule to extend reporting requirements to all animals shipped commercially, not just dogs and cats.

Go to regulations.gov to submit comments directly to the DOT.

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Comments

Comments

Michael Lawrence

Increase standards

Harriet Kaufman

Pets are not cargo. They are family. Please upgrade your flying conditions. Thank you.

Amber Beatty

This *is* a matter of life and death here. Accountability isn't an unreasonable expectation.

Sarah Samaco

I wouldn't ship my hermit crab in cargo..let alone my dog. People are careless with your pets when you aren't looking. NEVER trust strangers to treat your pet the way you expect them to be treated. If my pet needed cargo checked..I'd drive to the location instead of flying.

Samantha

If our luggage is poorly cared for, why should we subject our beloved pets to this negligence?

Beth Famiglietti

I would fly so much more if I was more confident in my pet's safety.

Kristen Rolfes

All animals deserve to be protected while being shipped as cargo during air transport. I support the DOT's decision to extend coverage to all dogs and cats. Reporting requirements are essential to inform consumers about the risks associated with transporting animals by air, and people deserve this information so they can make informed decisions about traveling safely with their pets. I want this rule to extend reporting requirements to all animals shipped commercially, not just dogs and cats.

Teresa Whelpley

DOT-OST-2010-0211-0008

I totally support the DOT’s decision to extend coverage to all dogs and cats. Reporting requirements are essential to inform consumers about the risks associated with transporting animals by air, and people deserve this information so they can make informed decisions about traveling safely with their pets. I would also like the rule to extend reporting requirements to all animals shipped commercially, not just dogs and cats.

Thank you
Teresa Whelpley

Julie Swift

Animals are pets, beloved members of families. They need to be treated as such. Please upgrade your standards for these family members.

Dori

Pets are not cargo. They are family. Please upgrade your flying conditions. The thought of them flying in hot conditions and not with their owners is awful. Thank you.

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