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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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MICHELLE DOCCHIO

The cargo in an airplane is NOT the place for animals to be. They can sit on your lap or occupy a seat. I wouldn't give a crap if there were people on the plane annoyed by a pet, I'd rather have my bestfriend alive. And if there were ever a pet on a plane I wouldn't mind at all. All animals deserve rights, we just have to speak up for them!

Laura Canuelas

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 the rule to extend reporting requirements to all animals shipped commercially, not just dogs and cats.
Please ensure the safety of all our animal friends!

Naomi Sorrwar-R...

Animals are living, breathing beings NOT cargo! Please treat them as the beloved beings that they are. Thank you!

Shauna Greek

My husband and I flew across Canada from British Columbia to Ontario with our cat, but we paid extra to bring him in the cabin with us (he did amazingly and was so calm). Everything I've heard about airlines no longer permitting pets in the cabin concerns me. I will never trust the airlines with my cat in cargo, even with this new rule.
Airline standards/requirements with pets/cargo animals need to be improved further beyond this rule, but at least this is somewhere to start.

Valerie Mendoza

We have the ability to speak unlike our pets, they cannot say if they need water or food, or if it gets too hot or too cold. Our Pets are not JUST luggage, they are part of our families, they our Best Friends! so PLEASE PLEASE protect these animals! STOP THE CRUELTY!

Andrea

I support the DOT's decision to extend coverage to all dogs and cats. Travelers should be informed about the risks they are taking when leaving their pets in airplane cargo holds. my dog is part of my family, he is the only one i have and i like to take him with me where i go, i only took him with me one time. and when i did, he was in bad condition and had so many health problems. They deserve to be treated as humans and be well taken care of. thank you

Joanne Costello

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.

Leslie Ungar

Do not treat ANY living creature as cargo! More care and concern needs to be taken!

Todd Clark

Please do whatever needs to be done to ensure that whaen pets fly they arrive alive. Insulate cargo area so it does not put them through unneccicary trauma.

Carla Edstrom

Pets are not cargo! I was on a plane once where we heard barking for the first hour of the flight. Pets are terrified in there and not safe!

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