Animals on Airplanes Need Your Help

Posted by Stephen Wells, ALDF's Executive Director on July 18, 2012

The deadline has been extended to September 27. Please leave a comment today!

Animals transported on airplanes have very few protections under the law. Currently, the Department of Transportation (DOT) requires that airlines report death, injury, and loss only if the animal is a household pet. There is a lack of reliable statistics about the numbers and fates of animals shipped via air each year, so how could anyone assess the real risks involved in shipping animals as “cargo” on commercial airline flights?

A recently proposed rule would broaden requirements so that the safety of all cats and dogs–including those shipped by breeders and puppy mill owners–be accounted for (not just family “pets”), which is a step in the right direction. Unfortunately, that still leaves many animals categorized as they are right now as far as the Department of Transportation is concerned–nothing more than cargo. Tragedies like the deaths of 15 monkeys being shipped from Miami to Bangkok should be factored in to the general public’s decisions about the safety of transporting animals in airline cargo holds.

In order to protect animals traveling by plane, the DOT should require airlines to report all instances of animals being killed, injured, or lost in transit–regardless of species or pet-status. Here’s how you can help.

The deadline for commenting on the new reporting regulation is on September 27, 2012, so write the DOT today. Tell them that all animals deserve protection during air transport. The DOT is accepting comments through an online form; please write a short, polite message–preferably in your own words–to tell the DOT that you:

  • support the expansion of DOT reporting requirement to non-pet dogs and cats;
  • want the DOT to extend these crucial reporting requirements to all animals, not just pets;
  • believe that extended reporting requirements are necessary to inform consumers about the risks of air travel, allowing people to make informed decisions about transporting animals safely.

Alternatively, you can send your comments via mail or other means, instructions are on this DOT website. Thank you for taking action for animals on airplanes!


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