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Airlines Ban Snub-Nosed Dogs, Cats

Cathay Pacific joins the list

Several airlines already don’t accept dogs and cats who may have breathing problems aboard their planes. This week, the Asian airline Cathay Pacific has taken the same step.

Among the dogs who are banned from flying are pugs, bulldogs and boxers, and cats who are affected include Himalayans, Persians and most exotic short-hair cats.

While these pets are bred specially for the look of their shortened faces, veterinarians and animal protection groups have long noted that these so-called “pure” breeds suffer from serious breathing problems. Several European countries have already moved to limit their breeding.

Add the stress of air travel to the routine health and comfort issues endured by these brachycephalic breeds, and it’s no surprise to learn that U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) figures from May 2005 to May 2010 indicate that about half of the 108 in-flight dog deaths were of snub-nosed dogs.

American Airlines has a complete ban on snub-nosed cats and dogs in its cargo holds or as checked luggage, limiting their travel to in-cabin only. The airline also bans eight breeds, including boxers, pugs and Boston terriers, during summer months. Delta, United and Continental offer similar restrictions for the cargo and checked-baggage travel of pets. Singapore airlines has issued a complete ban on snub-nosed dogs as well as their cross breeds.

What do you say? Do you take pets on planes? What’s been your experience? Let us know in a comment or on Facebook.

What you can do: For more information, check out iFly.com, WebMD, and PetTravel.com. And today’s news is reported here.