Campaign Spotlight

Animal Deaths On Airlines Average 2.5 A Month

According to government data, 23 animals died on airlines in the nine months from May 2005 through January 2006. Sadly, that's over 2.5 deaths per month. The carrier with the most egregious record was Continental Airlines, responsible for seven animal deaths. American Airlines is next with five animal deaths. In addition, 18 animal injuries were recorded, and four animals were lost.

Click here to view the Animal Incident Reports online.

What You Can Do

It is crucial that consumers report pet mistreatment to the airline responsible and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). Airlines are required to report on animal injury, death and loss. The USDA must investigate to determine if the airline violated the Animal Welfare Act.

Report incidents to the USDA at:
U.S. Department of Agriculture
Animal Care Staff
4700 River Road
Riverdale, MD 20737
Phone: (301) 734-7833

The best policy is to avoid taking your companion animal on a plane if the animal cannot travel with you in the passenger cabin. Never allow your companion animal to be placed in the cargo hold.

Airlines Must Publish Animal Death and Injury Numbers

After years of lobbying by DDAL, the Department of Transportation (DOT) is now tracking the numbers of animals killed while in each airline's care. In the past, it was difficult for travelers to know the safety record of airlines with respect to transporting animals. DOT spokesman Bill Mosely said the government will check the airlines' self-reported data against consumer complaints to verify accuracy. Complete monthly reports are published in DOT's Air Travel Consumer Report.


Additional Reading

"The Hazards of Air Travel with Pets" from the Summer 2004 issue of Animal Guardian (pdf format).

"Fido on the Go" about safe pet travel also from the Summer 2004 issue of Animal Guardian (pdf format).