Choosing the right Transport cage is essential! The dog on a plane air transport regulations By plane, the transport of any living animal is regulated in a...

Choosing the right Transport cage is essential!

The dog on a plane
air transport regulations

By plane, the transport of any living animal is regulated in a precise and rigorous manner depending on the species involved. The dog is also protected by the European Convention of 13 November 1987 on the protection of pets, which states that "no one shall cause unnecessary pain, suffering or languor to a pet".

In addition, European Convention No. 65 on the protection of animals in international transport, which entered into force on December 13, 1968, and then revised by the Member States on November 7, 1989, indicates the bases to be observed during animal transport in order to ensure the safety, health and welfare of the animal during the trip. Chapter IV of this convention deals with the transport of dogs and specifies that:

- pregnant bitches having to give birth during the transport period, or those whose parturition is less than 48 hours old, are unfit for travel;

- the crate must be sufficiently spacious and allow the dog to lie down; it must withstand bad weather and be ventilated; it must contain a litter or any other means capable of absorbing the excrement;

- the route must be as fast as possible, as well as connections or stopovers; each dog must be fed every 24 hours and watered at least every 12 hours.

These provisions are considered to be valid for any form of dog transport, whatever the means of transport.

In strictly air terms, the international regulations for the transport of live animals are drawn up and published each year by the International Air Transport Association (I.A.T.A.), and corresponds to Annex A of resolution I.A.T.A. 620.

The important points to ensure

The dog handler who will travel by air must respect the regulations and, in particular, ensure the following points:

- check the acceptance of the dog by the airline, confirm the route, reserve the place of the animal and fill in a form called "declaration of the sender";

- learn about the terms of the trip and any rules specific to the requested air carrier;

- inquire with the consulate or the appropriate authorities about government measures, in particular health, of the countries of origin, destination, and transit if necessary;

- obtain the required national documents, veterinary certificates of vaccination and good health, as well as any other certificate or special exemption required by certain countries of transit or arrival, such as exceptional import permits;

- use a container that is properly labeled, and above all complies with I.A.T.A. regulations, allowing the animal to lie down at least;

- properly prepare the dog for this expedition to prevent dehydration or undernourishment, and to minimize the stress felt by the dog.

By following these rules correctly, the expedition can in no case be accused of breaking the law.

The carrier must, before accepting a canine freight, take into account the following elements:

- all the morphological and physiological characteristics of the dog (notion of increased risk for certain breeds - brachycephalic or physiological states - gestation);

- the conformity of the container used, its cleanliness, its safety both for the dog and for those prepared for handling;

- the type of aircraft allowing such transport and the space required in the hold or cabin;

- the waiting times made minimal for the dog, on departure or arrival;

- the presence of the required documents correctly completed, reservation, declaration by the sender, health certificates.

As soon as the transporter has respected these various instructions and that, despite everything, the dog is lost, sick, injured or even died naturally or accidentally during one of the phases of the trip, the owner is warned that the transporter cannot be held responsible.

Preparation for the trip

I.A.T.A. regulations indicates not only general and theoretical measures, as mentioned above, but also a set of more specific and practical elements, which each company must advise the owner of the dog in order to optimize the conditions of transport of the animal (s).

Thus, the space provided for the dog, whether in the cabin, on the road, or in cargo, must be reserved and paid for in advance. The difference between these three modes of air transport is inherent in the size of the dog, the price of the ticket, the quality of the animal and the veterinary checks upon receipt of the flight: dogs traveling in the cabin or in the hold are considered to be luggage, with a higher cost but a guaranteed reservation and a more flexible veterinary check on arrival.

During a cargo trip of several dogs, the presence of a person accompanying them is authorized, as long as this does not go against government provisions or company regulations.

Finally, if the dogs journey requires several carriers, it will only be accepted when both of them have confirmed their ability to transport the dog on the planned route. Therefore, the initial carrier must communicate the following information to the following company or companies:

- the number of the Air waybill (L.T.A.) written on the declaration of shipper of live animals;

- the number, weight and dimensions of each container if more than one dog is involved;

- the names of the departure, stop, and arrival airports;

- the date of shipment;

- the names, address and telephone number of the sender and the recipient if they are two different people;

- equipment required for unloading at destination;

- where appropriate, the care of animals and the instructions for the supply of water and food.

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Airlines with specific restrictions to IATA regulations

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Sedation and securing the dog

It is extremely dangerous to administer sedatives to dogs before air travel: painkillers reduce their resistance to stress, and, on the other hand, a dog who is sedated is always likely to react unpredictably, especially in mid-flight. The administration of tranquilizers will therefore be totally discouraged, except in extreme cases determined by a veterinarian (very aggressive dog or paralyzed by fear). For any tranquilized dog, a detailed note will be attached to the container (generic name of the sedative, dosage used, route and time of administration).

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