• Whither the in-flight emotional support miniatures horses?
• "Officials highlighted a few areas where they are most eager to get comments, including whether miniatures horses should continue to qualify as service animals"
Proposed new FAA rules would mean no more passengers bringing what are identified as emotional-support animals on airplanes, unless the animals are specially trained dogs that meet requirements.
On Wednesday, The U.S. Department of Transportation [DOT] proposed that only specially trained dogs qualify as service animals — which, according to the US Americans With Disabilities ACT, or ADA, have to be allowed by airlines to travel with their human in the cabin at no extra charge.
Transportation Department officials told reporters today they proposed the changes to improve in-flight safety, because a lot of passengers are abusing the system. As the number of in-flight 'support animal' attacks show, some jerks really are dragging on board pets with no training.
Airlines complain that the pets relieve themselves on planes and in airports, writes David Koenig for AP:
The public will have 60 days to comment on the proposed changes. Officials highlighted a few areas where they are most eager to get comments, including whether miniatures horses should continue to qualify as service animals.
The Transportation Department proposes a narrow definition in which a service animal could only be a dog that is trained to help a person with a physical or other disability. Passengers with a service dog would have to fill out a federal form on which they swear that the dog is trained to help them. A dog trained to help with psychiatric needs would qualify as a service animal.
Current rules do not require any training for emotional-support animals. However, airlines can demand that the animal's owner show them a medical professional's note saying they need the animal for support. The proposed rules would prohibit airlines from banning particular types of dog breeds if the animal qualifies as a service dog, although they could refuse to board an individual dog they deem a threat. Delta Air Lines, which bans pit bulls, said it is studying the proposal.
New rules could bump emotional-support animals from planes [apnews.com, wed jan 22 2020, 620pm ET]
Related [IMAGE SCREENGRAB SOURCE]:
Fact or Fiction: Transportation Dept. approves service horses on planes?