Qantas Suspends The Transportation Of Pugs

Pugs and other snub-nosed dogs are temporarily unable to fly onboard Qantas, after a recent death of a four-legged family member onboard the carrier. Due to genetics, snub-nosed dogs have trouble breathing onboard aircraft and can suffer complications inflight.

Pugs dogs qantas
Pugs and other dogs have banned from flying on Qantas. Photo: PxHere/existentist via Wikipedia/Simple Flying

What are the details?

Flying with dogs can be tricky. Unless the airline allows the animal to sit in the cabin (such as buying an extra-seat or claiming the animal is an emotional support animal), it is generally required to go in the cargo hold.

However, conditions with the boarding process, flying and landing can be rather traumatic for an animal, and especially so if the animal has trouble breathing. The animals can be left on the hot tarmac in a cage whilst the aircraft loads cargo, and might even be dehydrated.

One such animal that is greatly at risk are breeds of snub-nosed dogs, such as pugs, boxers, bulldogs, etc. These dogs are very susceptible to changing air conditions and temperature.

Emotional Support Dog
Only special conditions allow a dog to be transported in the cabin. Photo: Getty

Speaking to Air Cargo News, Qantas Freight’s chief customer officer Nick McGlynn said:

“These types of dogs are hugely popular but unfortunately they are high-risk flyers due to their respiratory systems and breathing problems. The risk is even higher in hot conditions and this summer we’ve seen a tragic spike in deaths of snub-nose dogs in extreme weather.”

Unfrotantly Qantas has found out the hard way after an animal died onboard when a family was flying to another Australian city.

Thus Qantas has decided to temporarily suspend flying snub-nosed dogs for two weeks until it can fully implement new policies.

“We already have special procedures in place for these vulnerable breeds and the simple thing for us would have been to introduce a blanket ban. We know many owners love to take their pets with them when they travel, so we’re designing a way to help reduce the risks that are inherent with these particular breeds.

What are the new policies?

The new policies are:

  • Requiring all snub-nosed dogs to be cleared to fly by a registered vet immediately prior to travel;
  • Strongly recommending customers to use registered animal shipping companies, who have vets based at major capital city airports;
  • A longer-term review of airport equipment to provide further tarmac protection for vulnerable breeds in extreme weather; and
  • Reinforcing existing procedures designed to minimize the time animals are required to spend on the tarmac prior to being loaded.

These policies are in addition to existing ones that insist that the dogs are transported at 20 degrees celsius at all times (68F for our North American readers) and that transport can be rebooked free-of-charge during extreme weather (such as bushfires or heat).

“Key among the changes we’re making is requiring sign-off from a vet before snub-nosed breeds can travel with Qantas, giving them the final say.”

Qantas has worked with the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) to put together this list.

“We’re very pleased to see Qantas building upon their existing policies to acknowledge and work towards addressing these risks. We look forward to working with Qantas to review the conditions under which these breeds are transported, and would urge pet owners to consider all potential risk factors prior to flying their pets.” said Dr. Sarah Zito to Air Cargo News. 

We welcome this improvement on Qantas’ part and hope that these policies help prevent any more harm to our furry friends.

What do you think about the policies? Is it enough? Let us know in the comments.

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