Skip to comments.Airlines May Stop Flying Pets if Rule Imposed
Posted on 01/27/2003 11:15:11 AM PST by new cruelty
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Many big airlines may stop carrying pets over the United States if the government makes them report figures on how many animals they lose and how many die or are injured on their planes, an industry group says.
Carriers say they fly millions of animals each year for a fee and endorse government efforts to make animal transport safer. The rule was ordered by Congress and proposed last fall by the Federal Aviation Administration.
But airlines oppose the plan to make them inspect such cargo more closely and submit detailed monthly reports to the Transportation Department on any incident that leads to loss, injury or death of a pet or an animal to be sold as a pet.
Some animal protection groups argue that reporting standards are needed to at least give consumers access to information about an airline's record for handling animals.
There are currently no industry figures for pet deaths or injuries, and the airlines dispute widely circulated claims that roughly 5,000 animals die in their custody each year.
The biggest airlines, through their lobbying group, the Air Transport Association, say the rule would be logistically difficult and cost prohibitive. Delta Air Lines said the inspections could cost more than $1 million annually.
"Many airlines are struggling for their financial survival and would have no choice but to forego carrying pets in an effort to maximize revenue while reducing the cost of burdensome federal regulations," Michael Wascom, the group's spokesman, said.
Some airlines crate cats, small dogs and some birds and permit them to travel in the passenger cabin. They count as carry-on baggage. Larger domestic pets and other creatures are transported in cargo containers in the belly of the aircraft.
Airlines do not object to reporting a dog or cat death. They say those are rare. But they do not want to account for the well-being of every animal.
"Should we also be expected to open up every box of pet boa constrictors to see if they're all alive? It's a physical impossibility," Wascom said.
Delta said it called an expert from a zoo last year to open a container of venomous snakes.
"No matter how well trained, airline employees are not veterinarians with the necessary expertise to fully protect themselves from the danger of handling cold-blooded animals," Delta has told the Transportation Department.
The carrier and other airlines defend their record for transporting animals, and have offered alternative language to modify the proposal.
But animal protection and other groups, like the Humane Society of the United States, argue for reporting standards.
"Either animal suffering during air travel is the rare exception to the rule, in which case reporting it will pose a negligible burden. Or it goes on all the time, in which case it may be something of a hassle for airlines to have to report but all the more necessary from the public's perspective," the Humane Society told the Transportation Department.
But the American Kennel Club, the purebred dog registry, said current practices are adequate.
(Excerpt) Read more at reuters.com ...
I'm sure Spot (Pres. Bush's Springer Spaniel) gets first class treatment on Air Force 1!
Now I won't say that the cats enjoyed the flight (its a very long and unpleasant flight, even for people, and they are particularly reluctant to get into their carriers now) but I think they were OK. The least social cat got a lot friendlier after the flights. I think she appreciates what she has now, since she and her two siblings were never in a shelter like our two older cats were.
Before anyone asks why I took them to Japan, there simply wasn't anyone we knew who could take them all, never mind keep them together and we weren't about to give them to a shelter. Taking them was really the only option. And, no, it wasn't easy finding a place that would take cats in Tokyo. Since there is no plural in Japanese, we simply got a little vague on how many "cat" I was bringing with me...
It has to be said... ALL YOUR CAT ARE BELONG TO US!
ok, got that out of the way.
Good post. So how long were you in Japan?
True. Finding a boxed shaped like a puppy is no easy task. :)
Surprise, surprise. The number one promoter of over-breeding and of breeding health-impairing defects to achieve dubious aesthetic ideals, isn't worried about how airlines treat cargo-shipped animals. Surprise, surprise.
Country Cat Quits Coop, Carrier Kennel Conveys Kitty to the City
(story page 3)
Cool. Thanks for sharing. : )
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