Feds Update, Expand Rules Covering How Airlines Report Their Animal-Safety Records

When you’re flying with your pet, sometimes it’s not possible to keep your beloved Mr. Saucypants in the plane cabin with you. But banishing him to the cargo hold below can be a daunting prospect, which is why U.S. regulators have expanded how many airlines must report on their animal-safety records.

Passengers traveling with pets will have access to more information now, things like animals that were lost, injured or died while carriers transported them, Reuters reports. The U.S. Transportation Department has beefed up who has to report, from 14 airlines currently to 27.

The new rules go into effect on January 1, 2015 and will also include commercial shipments of pets, like those by breeders, for the first time. The rules only covered pet owners and their animal friends previously.

This only covers furry friends, however, so if you’re flying with your iguana, there aren’t numbers on lizards. The DOT said it would be “unduly burdensome” to report on all species, despite the urging of animal rights groups to do so.

Every year airlines will have to file a report with all the numbers — the total amount of animals transported, lost, injured or died. Before now, airlines simply reported monthly on what happened to animals, not how many pets they actually transported.

“This rule will provide consumers with a fuller picture of an airline’s safety record when it comes to transporting animals,” Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said in a statement. “Consumers deserve clear and accurate information when choosing among air transportation options,” he said.

U.S. expands airlines’ reporting requirements on pet safety [Reuters]