The U.S. Department of Transportation on Wednesday proposed a new rule banning all but dogs from traveling as service animals on airline flights.
The proposal would allow airlines to prevent travelers from bringing other animals — including cats and miniature horses — on board as service animals. Dogs brought on flights as service animals must be specially trained as such.
Additionally, emotional support animals will no longer be considered service animals, but the department said it would allow specially trained psychiatric service animals.
“The department recognizes the integral role that service animals play in the lives of many individuals with disabilities and wants to ensure that individuals with disabilities can continue using their service animals while also reducing the likelihood that passengers wishing to travel with their pets on aircraft will be able to falsely claim their pets are service animals,” the department said in a statement.
The new rules also would:
— Allow airlines to require forms attesting to a service animal’s good behavior and health.
— Allow airlines to require passengers with a disability and a service animal to check in 1 hour before the required check-in time for other passengers.
— Allow airlines to limit the number of service animals per passenger to two.
— Allow airlines to limit the size of a service animal to a passenger’s foot space.
The rule proposal is open to public comment for 60 days.
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