Temperature Regulations for Airlines Transporting Animals

(Excerpt from the American Veterinary Medical Association’s News Bulletin)

Congress passed legislation that requires airlines to compile and release information to the U.S. Department of Transportation concerning traveling pets that have died, been lost, or injured.

Certain provisions in the legislation, the Wendell H. Ford Aviation Investment and Reform Act for the 21st Century (HR 1000), require airlines to improve their cargo holds, personnel training, and reporting procedures, while also increasing civil penalties on negligent airlines. Airline representatives had warned that additional regulations could drive some carriers away from transporting animals, leading to a backlog and price hikes.

Extreme temperature conditions often lead to airlines refusing to accept animals on flights. At the same time, airline spokespersons say the number of people taking their pets on vacation is on the rise. During the hot summer weather, several major airlines decided not to accept certain pets as accompanied baggage with ticketed passengers in the cabin. Some airlines will not accept animals as checked baggage at any time of the year.

Specific information on pet transport on airlines is offered by the Air Transport Association, which outlines rules for shipping animals at its website. The USDA has a website link to pet travel guidelines or the agency can be contacted by phone at 301.734.7833.

© 2017 California Veterinary Medical Association

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