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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

Kamar Sumrall

Stop corporate liars and deniers from contined animal cruelty!

Allison T

I've noticed a number of people entereing the suggested text for the comment in the comments section here on this article page. In order for DOT to receive your comment on the proposed regulation, you must use one of the two hyperlinks in the article - be sure to click on the "accepting comments" link or the "regulations.gov" link in the article. That will take you to the correct regulations.gov page where you can comment on this particular proposed rule by DOT. Thanks! :)

Iryna Naumenko

The pets are a life, they are not a luggage!

Ben Kloepper

What Jack the Cat's law *should* be:

Airlines shall not require companion animals to travel in the cargo section of the airplane.

Animals small enough to fit in an "under-the-seat" carrier shall be allowed to fly as carry-on luggage. If the accompanying person does not have a suitable carrier for this purpose, the carrier shall be provided by the airline, for a reasonable rental fee.

Animals too large to fit in an "under-the-seat" carrier may be allowed to fly in the passenger cabin, in an additional purchased seat, adjacent to the accompanying person. As above, if the accompanying person does not have a suitable carrier for this purpose, one will be provided by the airline for a reasonable rental fee.

elaine

THIS WILL BE A CRIME. HAVE SOME COURAGE TO STAND UP FOR WHATS RIGHT. compare cruelty laws 100 years ago to now, so changes will be made soon and in the future to end cruelty and treat our planet and everything on it with respect. Soon, any cruelty and abuse, acts to hide it, intentional or unintentional will all be criminal, and moral crimes. Some already are!
FACE IT - there are 2 types of people, those who are intelligence, civilized, responsible, have courage to stop the wrongs in our world and THOSE WHO ARE NOT-WHICH ONE ARE YOU?

Tee Na

Please do the right thing and change your procedure to accommodate the animals who fly. Thank you.

Zelime Gizzi

Airlines really should report animal mishaps!! It's their responsibility! What if YOU were one
of those animals? Wouldn't you want someone to Stand up for you? Please DO the right thing! Please.

Wanda Cooper

As a compassionate person I believe that ALL animals that lose their life in transit or from being on an airplane, should be reported publicly. THIS NEEDS TO END. ALL CREATURES deserve the right to be transported safely, in secure accomadations, with clean air to breath, plenty of water to drink and food to eat. They are not luggage and should not be treated as such. They are frightened creatures, placed into strange accomadations and possibly handled by people who can do as they please to them without recourse. YOU SHOULD BE ASHAMED! If you accept creatures on your airline, then it is your responsibility to treat them as passengers. Traveling on your airline means someone PAID for their seat and they deserve the same care and concern and treatment as a first class passenger. Just because they cannot speak for themselves does not give you the right to treat them badly by ignoring them or giving them improper care. You must take responsibility. GROW UP AND EARN YOUR REPUTATION BY CARING FOR ALL CREATURES ON YOUR AIRLINE AS THEIR CARE IS BEING PAID FOR THE SAME AS FIRST CLASS. Just as a child sent alone from one destination to another, someone must champion them and take care of them along the way. CREATURES ARE NO DIFFERENT, THEY CANNOT SPEAK FOR THEMSELVES, THEY RELY ON YOU TO DO THAT FOR THEM. Take a stand and step apart from crulty be the best at all you do on your airline and expect everyone who you employ to take responsiblity when they see something is wrong, even if it is not the area they work in or pertains to their job. Accountability is the key and it must start with everyone stepping up with compassion and responsibility, love and care, moral justice for plainly doing what is right. You have to report all misconduct and mishandling of any creature you allow to fly on your plane. Please do what is right, stop hiding your shame.

shirley haney

I support these goals:
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.

anastasia devaris

Im afraid to let my pet travel airborne with me, therefore im not traveling air neither till they change the way they treat animals, DONT THROW MY PET OR ANYBODY ELSES INTO YOUR CARGO AREA, THEY ARE NOT SUITCASES!
And until you change the way you treat traveling pets, you WILL NOT get any of my $$$$$$$.

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