Anac Allows Airlines to Set Pet Transport Rules After Golden Retriever's Tragic Flight Death

Brazilian airline Gol's negligence leads to a dog's death, sparking concerns over lax pet travel policies and the safety of animals during air travel.

Mazhar Abbas
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Anac Allows Airlines to Set Pet Transport Rules After Golden Retriever's Tragic Flight Death

Brazilian Airlines Given Autonomy Over Pet Travel Policies After Dog's Death

The Brazilian National Civil Aviation Agency (Anac) has recently allowed airlines to set their own rules for transporting animals on flights. This policy change comes in the wake of a tragic incident where a Golden Retriever named Joca died from cardiac arrest after going almost eight hours without drinking water while being transported on two separate flights by Gol Airlines.

Gol Airlines mistakenly placed Joca on a different flight, causing the dog to be stranded for an extended period without access to water. The airline has since accepted responsibility for the dog's death, calling it an "operational failure," and has suspended the transportation of animals in the cargo section. However, Gol Airlines has welcomed pets to fly in the cabin with their owners.

The Ports and Airports Ministry and the National Civil Aviation Agency have joined the investigation into the incident, and Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva has urged Anac and Gol Airlines to ensure that a similar incident does not happen again.

Why this matters: The death of Joca has highlighted the need for stricter regulations and oversight in the transportation of animals on flights. The autonomy given to airlines to set their own pet travel policies raises concerns about the safety and well-being of animals during air travel.

The policy change by Anac has led to unique scenarios, such as a family from New York City boarding a United Airlines flight with their Yorkshire Terriers, Amy and Emily, who each had their own business class seat. United Airlines' policy exempts task-trained service animals from the restrictions applied to typical pets, allowing them to occupy seats typically reserved for human passengers.

Pooch Perks: While many travelers appreciate the idea of dogs having their own seats, as it avoids the discomfort of larger pets on the floor encroaching into the space of neighboring passengers, this trend has raised some logistical concerns. Business class seats may not be the ideal environment for animals, and airlines do not clean extensively between flights.

In response to the incident, Gol Airlines stated, "We deeply regret what happened and have already contacted the dog's guardian to apologize and inform him that we will support him in whatever is necessary." The airline also emphasized its commitment to reviewing its procedures to prevent similar occurrences in the future.

Key Takeaways

  • Anac allows airlines to set own rules for transporting animals on flights.
  • Gol Airlines mistakenly placed a dog on wrong flight, leading to its death.
  • Gol Airlines suspends animal cargo transport but allows pets in cabin.
  • Policy change raises concerns about animal safety during air travel.
  • Airlines' pet policies, like business class seats for dogs, face logistical issues.