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Tell the Department of Transportation to expand its reporting requirements to include all animals

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Originally Posted: August 23, 2012

Tell the Department of Transportation to expand its reporting requirements to include all animals

FROM American Anti-Vivisection Society (AAVS)

ACTION

Please comment now through Regulations.gov to improve the system of reporting death and/or injury of an animal during air travel as cargo.

Currently, U.S. airlines are required to report only cases in which a family pet, such as a dog or cat, is involved. Regulations do not include animals shipped for commercial purposes, including dogs from puppy mills, birds for the pet trade, or primates being shipped to laboratories.

Comment here (copy/paste URL into your browser):
http://www.regulations.gov/#!submitComment;D=DOT-OST-2010-0211-0008 

INFORMATION / TALKING POINTS

The Department of Transportation (DoT) needs to ensure the safety of ALL animals on airplanes. That starts with reporting and tracking 'incidents' so bad practices can be revealed and stopped.

Please comment now through Regulations.gov to improve the system of reporting death and/or injury of an animal during air travel as cargo.

Currently, U.S. airlines are required to report only cases in which a family pet, such as a dog or cat, is involved. Regulations do not include animals shipped for commercial purposes, including dogs from puppy mills, birds for the pet trade, or primates being shipped to laboratories.

However, the DoT is proposing to expand requirements to "include all cats and dogs transported by the carrier, regardless of whether the cat or dog is transported as a pet by its owner or as part of a commercial shipment." Under these rules, airlines would also report the total number of killed/injured animals, as well as the total number of animals transported as cargo.

This proposed expansion does not go far enough. All animals should be counted, regardless of their 'purpose' or flight itinerary. Doing so not only allows consumers to make educated decisions when choosing an airline, it also helps to keep those responsible for the well-being of animals during transport accountable. Different species of animals can have very different needs and some, like primates, require special care, particularly during long journeys, which are very stressful.

Importantly, a complete picture of such activities cannot be achieved unless the regulations are expanded to include all airplanes that transport passengers along with animal cargo, regardless of size, as well as those that only transport cargo.

Last year, AAVS documented the use and importation of primates for research and outlined the hazards associated with transporting these animals in its report entitled "Primates by the Numbers." Earlier this year, a court case over the deaths of 15 monkeys made headlines, calling attention to the many dangers associated with air transport. Then, two cotton-top tamarins, a critically endangered primate species, died during a Continental flight while en route from a lab to a sanctuary. The deaths are alleged to be caused by mishandling, decompression, or hypothermia. Many other similar incidents no doubt occur to other animals, but there's no way to know without stronger regulations.

 

Please amend the Department of Transportation's proposed rule to expand airline incident reporting requirements to include ALL animals, not just cats and dogs. Air carriers are responsible for the safety of every animal that they handle, regardless of species or 'purpose' as pet, research subject, etc. I support the DoT's proposal to require all covered carriers to provide in their December reports the total number of animals that were lost, injured, or died during air transport. I also support requiring carriers to add to those year-end reports the total number of animals transported in the calendar year. Reporting all animal numbers and incidents is in the public interest because it provides official documentation for consumers and the public regarding the safety and problems of transporting animals as cargo. Importantly, it also keeps those responsible for the well-being of animals during transport accountable.


Thank you for everything you do for animals!