Mon, Aug 29, 2011
Say Convenience Of Pet Owners Not Worth Risks Of Serious
Doctors in Canada are reportedly seeking a ban on pets in
passenger cabins on airline flights in that country, saying they
are posing serious threats to people allergic to animals. Dogs and
cats are common on airline flights, but the Montreal Gazette
reports birds and rabbits are allowed by some carriers.
The paper reports that Dr. Mark Schoenfeld of British Columbia,
speaking at a Canadian Medical Association annual assembly in St.
John's, commented, "While airlines argue that this is a great
convenience for pet owners, the practice actually exposes our
patients, and their passengers, to significant allergens that can
make the journey very difficult — and occasionally quite
seriously ill as a result. People have to travel with EpiPens,
adrenalin, bronchodilators and antibiotics. Some people end up
having their entire holidays ruined."
Delegates to the meeting reportedly voted 93 percent in favor of
a ban. As is the case in restaurants and other public places,
service animals, such as guide dogs, would still be allowed.
The practice of allowing pets in airliner cabins only recently
became common in Canada. The Gazette reports Air Canada reversed
its prohibition against pets on board two years ago due to
competition from WestJet. An editorial published in the Canadian
Medical Association Journal reports that WestJet, a low-cost
carrier, has pets on about one-quarter of its flights.
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