PETA to Air Canada: Set New Standard for Animal Safety

Published by Chrissy Matthies.

When PETA caught wind of Air Canada’s recent loss of Larry—a dog who was forced to fly “cargo” to his new home—we wrote the airline an urgent letter asking it to change its live-animal transit policy.

Larry—an Italian greyhound who had already lost so much, including his beloved guardian to cancer—went missing more than a week ago after an Air Canada employee let him out of his crate in San Francisco during a flight delay. Packed with “absorbent material[s]” like baggage, Larry had been scheduled to fly “cargo” to meet his new family in British Columbia.

Larry’s story is not unique. Every year, frightened companion animals are lost, injured, and even killed after airline employees let them out of their carriers during layovers—and many are never seen again. Others are cooked alive or die of hypothermia when cargo-hold temperatures become deadly in minimally ventilated spaces meant to transport luggage, not living beings.

Not only is PETA asking Air Canada to prohibit the flying of animals in aircraft cargo holds, we’re also asking Air Canada to convert two rows of seats in every aircraft into cabin kennels for dogs who can’t fit under seats—a move that will surely enhance Air Canada’s standing among customers.

Air Canada has already shown itself to be a leader among airlines by banning the shipment of primates destined for laboratories last year. By charging a premium price for safe companion-animal seating, Air Canada would continue to be a compassionate industry stand-out to animal guardians who are willing to pay a little extra in order to keep their family members safe.

To learn more about what you can do to keep your animals safe while traveling, read PETA’s vacation tips.

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 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights?” READ MORE

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind