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Strengthen Regulations on Airline Companion Animal Reporting by Aug 28th

August 22, 2012


In 2000, Congress agreed with  the animal protection community that the public has a right to know how  the airlines treat their animal passengers.  In 2003, the Department of  Transportation (DoT) finally issued regulations governing the reports  that airlines have to file regarding animals who are lost, injured, or  killed while in their care.  Unfortunately, they only have to report a  problem if it involves an animal who “is being kept as a pet in a family  household in the United States.” That is a very narrow definition and  does not include animals being shipped commercially “such as dogs coming  from puppy mills and primates being shipped to research laboratories.

After years of protests about this limitation from animal groups and letters from U.S. Senators, DoT has published a proposal (Docket  No. DOT-OST-2010-0211) to expand the reporting requirements and the number of airlines to  which they apply, and to improve the utility of the reports.

It is essential that DoT  hear from animal advocates like you so that the final rule will cover all animals who are entrusted to the


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Please amend the proposed rule so that airlines are required to file reports for any animal  who is lost,  injured, or killed while in their care and custody.  The  animal’s status as “pet,” “commercial  shipment,” or otherwise has no  bearing on an air carrier’s responsibility to  ensure that an animal  is handled humanely and arrives alive and well at the  final  destination.  While the rule as  proposed is an improvement over the  current coverage “limited only to pets  residing in U.S. households ” it  still fails to cover such egregious  situations as, for example, the deaths of 15  monkeys during an arduous journey from Miami to Los Angeles to China and  back again.  I support  DoT’s suggestion that the airlines’ December reports include the total number of animals  transported in the  previous year as well as a tally for the year of all animal  losses,  injuries, and deaths.  This more-comprehensive year-end report will make the information that much more meaningful  and  accessible to consumers. I also  support applying the reporting  requirement to more airlines, as proposed.  The public deserves the best  information it can get regarding the airlines’ records when it comes  to handling animals. Making the airlines more accountable will make them  more careful with their animal passengers.

our animal are your passengers, too.
we need to know what you do,
what happens to this cargo
precious, that cannot be
anything less than kindness
and candor
would be a disgrace

Karen Lyons Kalmenson

18 Comments leave one →
  1. karenlyonskalmenson permalink
    August 22, 2012 10:58 am

    our animal are your passengers, too.
    we need to know what you do,
    what happens to this cargo
    precious, that cannot be
    anything less than kindness
    and candor
    would be a disgrace


    August 22, 2012 11:31 am



  3. Louise Guthrie permalink
    August 23, 2012 12:50 am

    Use guidelines for all animal cargo.


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