Animal rights activists are rejoicing over the US Department of Transportation’s most recent move to ban airline breed discrimination.
According to the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), the department will soon be issuing new regulations that will prevent airlines from refusing to accommodate service animals based on their breed.
The initiative comes as a welcomed followup to Delta Airlines’ decision over the summer to continue prohibiting pit bull-type dogs on their flights despite how the company only recently abandoned their ban against emotional support animals on flights longer than eight hours.
“With its decision, Delta placed an extreme and unnecessary hardship on its own customers, asking them to choose between air travel and essential service animals,” wrote Humane Society CEO Kitty Block in a blog post. “It also ignored guidance from the DOT in August 2019 that instructed airlines not to prohibit service dogs on flights based on their breed or physical appearance alone.
“The DOT confirmed that guidance in its announcement today and stated that it is not aware of nor has been presented with evidence supporting the assertion that an animal poses a direct threat simply because of its breed.”
While the regulation has not yet been officially formed, it is the latest in a long slew of US initiatives to end breed discrimination on a municipal and state level—particularly against pit bull-type breeds.
“There is, in fact, absolutely no evidence that pit-bull-type dogs have more aggressive tendencies than other breeds,” wrote Block. “On the other hand, such dogs are increasingly serving as seeing eye and hearing dogs, as physical support dogs for balance and mobility, as medical alert dogs responding to various health issues such as low blood sugar, oncoming seizures or low oxygen levels, and as support animals for individuals with psychological conditions such as PTSD.
“We applaud this proposed amendment that would bring airlines in line with the latest science while ensuring that individuals with disabilities and their service animals are adequately protected from frivolous discriminatory policies.”
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Bless Your Heart!