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Qantas announces temporary flight ban on snub-nosed breeds

Qantas has announced that the airline is reviewing its policies to introduce additional safeguards for snub-nosed dog breeds such as Boxers, Bulldogs, and Pugs. These precautions are aimed at reducing the risks that these breeds face during the flight.

The airline is working with the RSPCA and other animal experts to finalise a safety protocol that will mitigate the risks involved when your pet flies on Qantas. The airline has announced a temporary suspension for approximately two weeks on all new freight bookings for snub-nosed pets until the new safety guidelines are finalised. All existing freight bookings will not be impacted by the temporary suspension.

Safety first

Snub-nosed pets are at greater risk during the flight because of their short snouts and respiratory systems. These risks are more pronounced when the weather conditions are extreme. The recent spell of warm weather in the country has added to the dangers that these dogs already face.

Qantas Freight’s Chief Customer Officer Nick McGlynn said the airline wanted to balance the ability for owners to travel with their pets while ensuring animal welfare. He says, “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.”

He adds, “These types of dogs are high-risk flyers due to their respiratory system 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.”

Qantas is one of the leaders in animal safety and follows industry best practices laid down in the IATA guidelines while transporting pets. More than 40,000 pets are flown across Qantas’ domestic network every year, including 2,000 snub-nosed dogs.

The airline is working towards providing a safe and comfortable journey for these vulnerable breeds. Qantas intends to introduce additional safety measures for snub-nosed breeds such as:

  • All snub-nosed pets must be cleared to fly by a registered vet before the flight
  • Recommend or mandate the use of registered pet shipping companies
  • Review of airport equipment to make it safer for pets on the tarmac during extreme weather
  • Minimise the time the pet spends on the tarmac before loading on to the aircraft

Qantas will build upon their existing policies to improve flight conditions for these breeds. The airline believes that the safety of the pets is of utmost importance and is working with animal experts to ensure their pet passengers have a pleasant and safe flight.

Why are snub-nosed breeds especially vulnerable?

Snub-nosed or brachycephalic breeds require greater care and caution during air travel because of their short snouts. These dogs do not have an efficient respiratory system and tend to overheat when the temperatures are high. They find it harder to cool down and regulate their body temperature, especially during the hot summer months. Snub-nosed breeds must be healthy and must travel in a well-ventilated crate for a successful and comfortable air travel experience.

If you are planning to travel internationally with your snub-nosed pet, it is recommended to use an accredited pet transport agency to help with the pet travel arrangements. Since brachycephalic breeds are high-risk fliers, it is important to plan every detail of the travel itinerary to ensure your pet flies the shortest route, and in the coolest time of the day. An animal transport company can re-book your pet if weather conditions become more severe than forecast. Reach out to the team at Petraveller for the safest travel itinerary for your snub-nosed dog.