LEADING airline has banned five breeds of dog from being carried
as cargo on its services after an incident involving
one dog of unspecified breed. The new policy has been denounced
by campaigners as "Breed Specific Legislation in the
American Airlines announced its new policy on August 7th. An internal American Airlines Cargo Service Advisory bulletin stated: "Effective Immediately, the following restrictions are in Place. American Airlines will no longer accept the following breeds of dogs:
American Pit Bull Terrier; American Staffor(d)shire Terrier (sic); Bull Terrier; Doberman Pinscher; Rottweiler.
The statement continues:
"Puppies of these breeds between 8 & 12 weeks of age may be accepted. The breed and age of the dog must be indicated on the health certificate. Crossbreeds containing one of the above breeds, whenindicated on the health certificate are also prohibited."
The message was soon flashed across the Internet via the anti-BSL group DogHolocaust
DOGS contacted Jennifer Pemberton of American Airlines Cargo
division regarding the new restrictions. Ms Pemberton said:
"American Airlines Cargo recently made a change in its Live Animal Acceptance Policy to restrict certain canine breeds which experts consider to be aggressive in nature. We regret that this may cause inconvenience to our customers who depend on American for this cargo service. The new policy was adopted for safety reasons, due to an unfortunate incident involving an aggressive breed dog. No affront is intended toward the specified restricted breeds.
"American Airlines was the first airline to develop rigid standards for the safe transportation of animals and this decision is an extension of that commitment. We have many animal lovers who work for American Airlines, as well as many employee dog owners. The objectives associated with our animal acceptance policy are to transport animals safely. We trust you understand that safety is American Airlines number one priority."
The statement relayed by Ms Pemberton was roundly denounced by anti-BSL campaigners and dog owners across the world. One correspondent to the DogHolocaust List summed up the feelings of many, saying: "If the airline can ban breeds of dog because of an incident with one animal, then why haven't they banned all Muslims after the terrorist attacks on 9-11? Same thing. Safety is their number one priority? Laughable!"
OUR DOGS responded to Ms Pemberton with a number of questions as to the background to their policy, which included a query as to which experts defined the five listed breeds as dangerous and on what scientific basis this decision was reached.
However, at the time of going to press, no response had been received. However, OUR DOGS hope to include American Airlines response in next weeks issue.