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Traveling of Pets in Cabin | Australia Relax The Rules For Cats & Dogs

CANBERRA: Passengers on flights within Australia may soon be allowed to travel with their pets next to them rather than in the cargo hold below.

The country’s aviation regulator plans to relax the rules which currently ban any animal other than designated service dogs from flying in the cabin.

However, it will be up to each airline to decide its own policy for flying with fido, kitty or any other furry, feathered or scaled friend once the new rules come into effect on December 2.

Qantas, Virgin Australia, Jetstar and Regional Express allow service dogs to travel free with their owners, but all other animals must be transported in the cargo hold, a measure that’s costly and often distressing for both the pets and their owners.

However, the Civil Aviation Safety Authority suggests a number of factors will need to be considered by the airlines.

“When giving permission, you may need to consider the type of animal and how it is carried, contained and restrained; its reaction to noise and being out of its natural environment; nuisance to other passengers; distraction to flight crew; and how excrement or fluids will be contained,” the new CASA rules state.

“A large animal should always be secured so as not to damage or affect the balance of the aircraft in flight,” CASA continues.

“A small or medium-sized animal carried in the cabin would normally need as a minimum to be restrained during takeoff and landing and in turbulence.”

Many overseas airlines allow pets to accompany their humans in the cabin for a fee, subject to weight restrictions.

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