IATA and animal charity develop pet transport recommendations during crisis

By Damian Brett

Brendan Sullivan. Source: IATA

Animal protection organisation Humane Society International and IATA have published a set of recommendations to governments and supply chain players to assist in the transport of animals during times of crisis.

The considerations are based on the IATA Live Animals Regulations and cover documentation, facility provision and collaboration.

On documentation, the partners recommend that governments relax veterinary travel paperwork requirements for dogs, cats and other companion animals.

For facilities, they said that airport communities should identify additional storage facilities that are compliant with the requirement for the safety of live animals.

Also, the recommendations say that stakeholders evaluate communications materials to provide clear and consistent information to pet owners across all customer service channels; and that airport communities work with pet shipping companies and crate manufacturers to make available additional live animal transport containers at major departure points.

Brendan Sullivan, IATA’s global head of cargo, said: Aviation is a critical first responder in crisis situations. The humanitarian response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine was no different.

“Aviation helped people flee to safety and delivered humanitarian aid, and airlines with operations on the front line of the crisis recognised the importance of helping families stay united with their pets.

“Airlines on the frontline of the crisis —KLM, LOT Polish Airlines and Bulgaria Air —were leaders among airlines introducing measures to help those taking refuge bring their pets with them.

“The European Commission also addressed the issue by advising all EU member states to relax veterinary paperwork requirements for the dogs, cats and other companion animals traveling with refugees.

“Through our work with HSI we have learned from this experience and the industry will be even better prepared for future crises.”

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