New rule cracks down on emotional assist animals on planes
(CNN) – Airlines are not required to treat their own animals as a service animal, the new law says.
A U.S. Department of Transportation law announced Wednesday that “carriers are not obliged to determine how animals can help and whether they are pets.”
Pilots are allowed to reduce working animals for dogs.
The final rule of Flight and Service Animals defines a supportive animal such as “a dog, regardless of race or ethnicity, who is trained to work or perform services in the best interests of a person with a disability, including disability, power, insanity, intelligence, or other disability.”
Pets are advised by health professionals to provide encouragement and support to their owners, but unlike support animals, they no longer need to be trained in other skills.
Airlines have asked DOT that correct the issue perhaps out of concern that the passengers were fraudulently deceiving their pets as an unlicensed and unprofitable group of help animals.
Flying with a small animal inside the cabin can cost $ 125 or more at US airports.
The new law was further encouraged by the increasing number of animal complaints from people with disabilities, ambiguity in defining the meaning of “assisted meat,” inhuman or degraded transport patterns due to “requests to transport exotic species of animals on the air,” according to DOT.
Pigs, peacocks and other unexpected animals have long flown as helpers.
Praise from aircraft manufacturers
The US Airlines, a US airline, has praised the law.
“Airlines are committed to advancing disabled passengers and ensuring their well-being. The final directive of the Department of Transport is to protect public walkers and pilots from untrained animals in the home, as well as to improve travel for those with disabilities and trained dogs,” A4A CEO Nicholas E. Calio in his statement.
American Airlines is also pleased with the law.
“The new law demonstrates respect for people with disabilities who travel with legal animals, which we share, and provide clear and effective advice on how to address the abuse of the system that has been a source of concern to our members and customers,” said AA spokeswoman Stacy Day.
“We look forward to the best that we will be able to deliver to our customers, especially those with legitimate animals, for that reason.”
The new law allows airlines to require passengers traveling with working animals to fill out and submit a DOT form “confirming animal training and its proper procedures, and ensuring that the animal is in good health.”
Approximately 15,000 comments were received in response to the notification of the law which was kept in the Federal Register in February 2020, according to DOT.
These comments were taken into account in drafting the final order.
The Act will take effect 30 days after it is published in the Federal Register. The date of publication has not been set.
‘We think comforting peacocks are stupid’
In the past, a passenger traveling with an assisted animal was required to deliver a letter to their flight from a medical professional.
CertaPet, one of a number of services that provide diagnostic and therapeutic services for veterinarians, said the law “significantly affects those who are experiencing head-to-head mental health problems.”
The company said in a statement that “providing clear guidelines for the company’s certification and evaluation companies” would be a good solution.
“We understand that there have been incidents that have demeaned supportive animals and how they treat them, but this can be avoided by the increase in regulation,” the telehealth company said. “We think the peacocks are also a delusion.”
CNN’s Gregory Wallace contributed to the report.