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Traveling with animals today


During the summer months, and especially during August, trips usually present a dilemma (apart from the obvious issue of whether traveling is possible during the current economic situation!): how to travel with our companion animal.

I was recently in the USA and, for the first time, I used the services of United Airlines, an American company that has a special program for taking care of companion animals that fly with them. The program, called "Pet Safe", includes facilities such as rooms in different airports, including Chicago’s O’Hare, JFK, Las Vegas, etc, for the animals that travel in the cabin with their owners and are in transit. Additionally the tone of the page is positive ("Bring Your Favorite Animal with You on Your Flight "). That is to say, the information addressed to the passenger is clear, useful and professional. You also feel that United Airlines feels responsible for the safety of the companion animals that fly with them and that the company is proud of offering services that contribute to the welfare of the animals and the owners’ peace of mind, as they have an Office for Live Animals that functions 24 hours a day, the ability to track pets from origin to destination and many other options.

Those of us with animals who accumulate many hours in flight know how nice it is to know from the outset that they offer a cordial and friendly treatment, in addition to safety, to you and the animal traveling with you. Not all companies are the same. I specifically remember the French airline Air France, which is a model airline for the arrival and departure of animals that fly in the cabin combined with the characteristic French gentillesse, the chief flight attendant offers water to the animal after taking care of the passengers. The details make the difference. Those who have to do it know that traveling with an animal, whether for pleasure or for work, is one of those actions that represent responsible ownership by avoiding leaving the animal alone. This has everything to do with trying to incorporate good care habits and pet education in our routine and help influence change in social habits so that there is greater tolerance for animals in public places. As groups like the Fundación Affinity in Spain never tire of repeating, animals are a source of health. It is increasingly less difficult to find hotel accommodations which allow companion animals. And, increasingly, the Law moves toward simplifying the regulations regarding trips in the company of animals.

On our website, we have dedicated special attention to this from our very beginnings. You can read the corresponding articles in the Frequently Asked Questions section, which includes reference to questions such as:

The ADS Research Group which I direct in the UAB has created a report, based on rigorous and tested research, about the travel habits of companion animals and about the applicable legal regulations. In today’s globalized world this is one of the services that we have the moral and civic obligation to accomplish after so many years of research.

For the rest, there exists the International Pet and Animal Transportation Association (IPATA ), founded in 1969, that has more than 350 members in more than 70 countries, bringing together companies and travelers that consider the transportation of companion animals a priority, respecting the principles of animal welfare that develop strategies to improve the safety services in animal transportation.

Teresa Giménez-Candela
Professor of Roman Law
Animal Law Professor
Autonomous University of Barcelona

In reality, among European companies, only Lufthansa, Air France and British Airways are active members of this influential international organization. It would be great if Spanish companies joined this association and that passengers (especially those with four legs) begin to notice it!

keys Responsible Ownership, Traveling with Animals by Plane , Train or Ship , Animal Law

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