Pot-bellied pigs WILL fly (along with miniature horses and monkeys): Passengers to be allowed to take exotic pets on flights for ’emotional support’
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC 4 News) – The U.S. Department of Transportation is considering proposals to update accommodations for airline passengers with a service animal.
The new rules would allow monkeys, pot-bellied pigs and miniature horses to ride in the cabin of an airplane with their owner, according to a report titled Nondiscrimination on the Basis of Disability in Air Travel: Draft Technical Assistance Manual.
Rodents, spiders, snakes and other reptiles are exempt from air travel.
A passenger must provide proof of their service animal before boarding a flight.
Each airline will evaluate the animals on a case by case basis. The animal must not be too large or pose a threat to other passengers.
In addition, airlines and airports must provide an “animal relief area” on the ground for pets to relive themselves.
Many passengers at Salt Lake International Airport said they understand the importance of service animals, but feel these rules would take things a hair too far. They believe a seeing-eye dog is the most acceptable pet to allow on a plane.
The DOT is asking for the public’s input about the proposed rules before a final report is released.
WHAT SUPPORT CAN THESE ANIMALS GIVE?
Service animals help perform some of the tasks that people with a disability have difficulty with or cannot perform for themselves.
Pot-bellied pigs, which can weigh up to 300 lbs, are favored service animals for people allergic to dogs. They are intelligent companions and attuned to dangerous situations.
Miniature horses work as guide animals for the blind and visually-impaired. They are more cost-effective than guide dogs as their life spans are longer, around 30-40 years. They are also chosen for their calm natures, excellent eyesight and stamina, according to the Guide Horse Foundation.
Might be time for some of us who have resolved to do things when pigs fly for maybe pigs can fly after all.
Pot-bellied pigs, as well as miniature horses and monkeys, could be permitted to travel on planes under new Department of Transportation rules.
The guidelines are part of a draft manual on equality for disabled people travelling on commercial passenger planes.
Hogging the seats: A Department of Transportation draft manual says pigs should be allowed on flights if they gives owners ’emotional support’
Animals should be allowed on flights if they are used for ’emotional support’ by their owners, the manual states.
Transportation officers would have to determine whether the animal is permitted on the plane by running through a list of guidelines.
‘A passenger arrives at the gate accompanied by a pot-bellied pig,’ the manual states. ‘She claims that the pot-bellied pig is her service animal. What should you do?’
According to CNSNews, it continues: ‘Generally, you must permit a passenger with a disability to be accompanied by a service animal.
‘However, if you have a reasonable basis for questioning whether the animal is a service animal, you may ask for some verification.’
Riding high: The manual gives guidelines to determine if they are service animals. Miniature horses, pictured, can help visually-impaired passengers
Airline employees should enquire about how the animal aids the passenger and what training it has had.
If the employee has doubts that the animal is a service animal, they can ask for further verification or call a Complaints Resolution Official.
‘Finally, if you determine that the pot-bellied pig is a service animal, you must permit the service animal to accompany the passenger to her seat provided the animal does not obstruct the aisle or present any safety issues and the animal is behaving appropriately in a public setting,’ the manual adds.
Pot-bellied pigs can grow as large as 300 pounds. They can be trained to open and close doors and use a litter box.
‘They seem to have a sense if the owner is not feeling well to stay by them,’ said Wendy Ponzo, from the North American Potbellied Pig Association.
Ponzo, who has multiple sclerosis, added: ‘They help me a great deal when I feel at my worst.’
Not all animals that could help humans are allowed in the cabin, including ferrets, rodents, spiders and snakes.
But miniature horses and monkeys are also ‘commonly used service animals’ and are allowed inside, the manual states.
It adds that cases will be dealt with individually and animals can be turned away if they are too large or heavy, or will cause disruption.
Flying monkey (where is Dorothy?): A service monkey is checked at the airport
Guidelines: The Department of Transportation rules have been suggested in a draft manual on equality for the disabled in air travel
The owner must also provide a ‘relief area’ for his or her animal.
The rules come despite the TSA banning less potentially troubling items, such as sporting goods and snow globes.
They are outlined in the DoT’s Nondiscrimination on the Basis of Disability in Air Travel: Draft Technical Assistance Manual in the Federal Register.
The manual, which is open for public comments until October, is designed to ‘help carriers … provide services or facilities to passengers with disabilities’.
This does open the door for people who travel with their dogs and cats to question why they must be put below if they do not meet the very strict airline restrictions for bringing your pet onboard that have been followed, at least up until now.
Related: Department of Islamic Justice Bows Down to Muslims Irrational Hatred of Dogs……. SHEER INSANITY !!!! - Some feel allowing the pigs onboard could be a counter to this latest Islamic accommodation and might keep radical Muslims off flights.