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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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Jackson Brown

We have been shipping animals with the airlines now for 15 years we have shipped thousands of animals. The USDA has very strict standards and the crates are inspected carefully to make sure the standards are met. Temp requirements are very strict, and the animals are never handled by any mechanical devices.

We have never had (1) animal injured, killed or lost they travel in pressurized air conditioned and heated areas of the airplane and actually they travel in better conditions than most passengers as they do not have to contend with some drunk or smelly person.

The travel standards are excellent and do not need any changes.

Anne Marie Hock...

this is why I only fly on airlines that allow pets on board. I don't mind buying another ticket since I know it means my pet will be alive and won't require expensive veterinary treatment if someone gets careless.

Inga

Please improve your standards - a dog or any other animal is not a bag but a living being and someone's family member. This is disgusting what's happening to animals in CARGO! Please change the regulations!

Skylar

I strongly agree with everyone else! Please help stop this! You need to help insure this will NEVER happen again!

Jane Davidson

Would you consider your child as baggage while you fly first class? Animals are living, feeling sensitive beings who deserve humane conditions like the rest of us. Flying is extremely traumatic for them even in the best of circumstances.

Heather

Please treat pets with more respect! They deserve to be treated well. This is sad that it's even an issue that people need to address to the airplane companies. It's common sense that any living thing whether it be a human or animal should be treated with decency and care.

Jessica Butler

For many of us, our pets are our children. Either by choice or by circumstances. They would fly by my side if I hade my choice. Since they have to be separated from me, I expect them to be treated as children in a nursery.

John Moszyk

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.

j sternberg

DFW arport lost my keeshound. Luckily after an hour of stressing someone found her on an elevator. They had sent her up from the tarmac but the doors never opened and nobody knew where she was. The animals have no idea what is going on they can not ask for help or water if they are thirsty they are at the mercy of complete strangers that do not love them or care for them like their family does. Please do something about this. there needs to be strict regulations as to the conditions our adopted family members are put through.

j sternberg

DFW arport lost my keeshound. Luckily after an hour of stressing someone found her on an elevator. They had sent her up from the tarmac but the doors never opened and nobody knew where she was. The animals have no idea what is going on they can not ask for help or water if they are thirsty they are at the mercy of complete strangers that do not love them or care for them like their family does. Please do something about this. there needs to be strict regulations as to the conditions our adopted family members are put through.

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