U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx today announced a final rule that expands the Department of Transportation's current requirement that air carriers report incidents involving the loss, injury or death of an animal during air transport to the Department. The rule will become effective on January 1, 2015.
"This rule will provide consumers with a fuller picture of an airline's safety record when it comes to transporting animals," said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. "Consumers deserve clear and accurate information when choosing among air transportation options."
The final rule will expand the reporting requirement from U.S carriers that account for at least one percent of domestic scheduled passenger revenue to include all U.S. carriers that operate scheduled service with at least one aircraft with a design capacity of more than 60 seats. It will also expand the definition of "animal" 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, such as being shipped by a breeder. The previous version of the rule did not apply to breeder shipments.
In addition, the revised rule will require for the first time that all covered carriers file a calendar-year report that will include the total number of animals transported in the calendar year as well as the total number of animals that were lost, injured, or died during air transport in the calendar year, if any.
DOT publishes the reports it receives on incidents involving the loss, injury, or death of animals during air transportation in its monthly Air Travel Consumer Report (ATCR), which is publically available at www.dot.gov/airconsumer. The copies of the incident reports that appear in ATCR are redacted to remove identifying information about individuals, including the owner of the pet. DOT also forwards the reports to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, which enforces the Animal Welfare Act.