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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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heather

stop!! animails are not cargo there someone family, someones baby.i have 8 cats and if and one every misstreated them i be very upset.they have feelings too!!

heather

stop!! animails are not cargo there someone family, someones baby.i have 8 cats and if and one every misstreated them i be very upset.they have feelings too!!

Cindy

Pets are pets of the family,they are living beings not cargo

Sarah Randall

All animals deserve to be protected during air transport while being shipped as cargo. 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 believe and want this rule to extend reporting requirements to all animals shipped commercially, not just dogs and cats.

Jovy Jergens

Please improve your safety standards! These are family members.

Kris Aaron

I check things like this to decide which airline to fly with.

Courtney

Live animals are not "cargo." Animals deserve to get from point A to point B safely and comfortably. That should be obvious to everyone with a heart beating in their chest. How scared our babies must be to be subjected to such a terrifying process! Can you IMAGINE?

Lance Young

I want to report a positive story regarding pet in cargo. Since July 3, I've been taking care of a friend's cat. She had moved to New Orleans & yesterday it was time for Shayla to fly. I was worried for the obvious and summer heat. Luckily on the latter, Tucson experienced it's coolest summer day. But I was pleasantly surprised the Delta Airlines already had the paperwork ready & filled out. All that was needed was my signature on multiple forms. I felt bad for Shayla being alone in the belly of a jet. Her owner called me saying Shayla was in great shape & happy to be with her mom.

Jeannie Finlay-...

Airlines should treat pets as live cargo and send them via a special aircraft with an attendant to watch over them during the flight.

Emma Spurgin Hussey

Please transport animals safely and humanely.

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