Many of us have noticed a sharp increase in the number of animals on planes. These “comfort” or emotional support animals used to be small dogs but now people are bringing on not just large dogs but a wide variety of animals including small ponies, turkeys, pigs, and snakes. When airlines have balked at some of the animals, they have been threatened with disability lawsuits. United Airlines however drew the line recently when a woman showed up with this large peacock as her therapy animal at Newark Liberty International Airport.
Live and Let Fly broke the story earlier this week. Recently, Delta cracked down on emotional support and service animals due to increasing problems of out of control animals and biting incidents. Starting on March 1, Delta will require those flying with emotional support or psychiatric service animals to submit a veterinarian health form and immunization record to Delta with 48-hours’ notice. It will bar exotic animals like ferrets, insects, spiders, goats or animals with tusks or hooves to fly.
Other airlines have complained that people are using claims of disability or stress to bring their pets into cabins. Indeed, disabled people have joined the critics in calling out many passengers viewed as abusing the rules.