United Airlines ban more than 40 breeds of cats and dogs

The move is a response to the death of dog on a United Airlines flight

After the death of a 10-month-old French bulldog in the overhead bin on a United Airlines flight to New York resulted in a wave of criticism about how the company treats animals, it has decided to stop transporting more than 40 different breeds of cats and dogs, and all other animals.

From June, the carrier will change its policies to ensure that the pets listed will not fly in the hold.

United Airlines react to an unfortunate death of a dog on board by banning 40 breeds of cats and dogs — Mehdi Photos / Shutterstock United Airlines ban more than 40 breeds of cats and dogs
United Airlines have reacted to the unfortunate death of a dog on board by banning 40 breeds of cats and dogs — Mehdi Photos / Shutterstock

United’s Petsafe policy is currently suspended and under review until later in the summer.

Short-nosed dog breeds, such as many bulldogs and pugs, will be barred, as will exotic cats, like the Burmese and Persians. Strong-jawed dogs, such as mastiffs and pit bull terriers, are also on the no-fly list.

No other animals will be able to fly from the policy’s introduction on 18 June 2018.

All pets will be barred from flying to or from Las Vegas, Palm Springs, Phoenix and Tucson between May and September because of high temperatures. They will also not be able to travel to or from India and Australia.

United say in their updated policy that this is “out of concern for higher adverse health risks”.

The airline says that it is working with American Humane “to improve the well-being of all pets that travel on United”.

United is updating its policies, and improving the training of its staff and customer requirements.

American Humane was founded in 1877 to put an end to the inhumane treatment of animals and remove them from “deplorable conditions”. It is now the only national non-profit in the United States dedicated ensuring the welfare of both children and animals.

“American Humane has long been known and respected for setting the gold standard of animal welfare,” Jan Krems, United’s vice president of cargo, said.

“We look forward to a long-term collaboration and appreciate their expertise in helping us further improve our service on an ongoing and continual basis.

“As we continue our review process to ensure that we are always doing what’s right, we are committed to making significant improvements in our program and adhering to the best practices of animal comfort, well-being and travel on behalf of our customers and their pets.”

Dr Robin Ganzert, American Humane’s president and chief executive officer, said: “Transporting pets introduces a variety of risks and when United approached us, we knew we had to take on the challenge of helping improve and ensure the health, safety and comfort of so many animals.”

“United serves thousands of customers and their pets each day, and we saw it as our duty to come in as an independent, third party to help evaluate and further improve their PetSafe program and the in-cabin experience to ensure it offers one of the best in the industry.”