Search

Emotional Support Animals Could Soon Be Banned From Planes


2020-01-23 12:30:33

The Department of Transportation is considering overhauling current rules for service animals on planes, including allowing airlines to prohibit those used for emotional support.

The proposed changes announced on Wednesday include only allowing specially trained service dogs to qualify as service animals, which ride for free in a plane’s cabin. Any other animal used for emotional support or simply to make a passenger “feel better” would be considered a pet and airlines would not be required to allow them on board, the DOT said.

The DOT would also prohibit airlines from refusing a service animal solely on the basis of breed. Delta Airlines has a controversial policy of prohibiting “pit bull type dogs” on its flights.

Passengers wanting to ride with Fido would instead have to fill out a federal form attesting that their dog is trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of a person with a disability. The dog would need similar proof of good behavior, good health and having the ability to not relieve itself or do so in a sanitary manner.

Oscar the cat, who is not a service animal, sits in his carry-on travel bag after arriving at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport in Phoenix.

Oscar the cat, who is not a service animal, sits in his carry-on travel bag after arriving at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport in Phoenix.

The department said it will allow 60 days for the public to comment on the proposed changes before making a decision.

“Today’s [Notice of Proposed Rulemaking] is intended to ensure a safe and accessible air transportation system,” the department said in a statement.

The changes follow concerns raised by travelers with disabilities, airlines, flight attendants and airports. These concerns include passengers falsely identifying their pets as service animals, the department said.

Service animals would be restricted to dogs that are specially trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of a person with a disability.

Service animals would be restricted to dogs that are specially trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of a person with a disability.

Previous incidents involving emotional support animals and planes include people trying to fly with a peacock, a hamster, a pig and a squirrel.

Albert Rizzi, founder of the disability advocacy group My Blind Spot, celebrated the DOT’s crackdown.

“This is a wonderful step in the right direction for people like myself who are dependent on and reliant on legitimate service animals,” he told The Associated Press. Some people, he said, “want to have the benefits of having a disability without actually losing the use of their limbs or senses just so they can take their pet with them.”


Source link

Liked it? Take a second to support SayWHA Radio Network on Patreon!
Become a patron at Patreon!

Further reading

Recent posts