​Q: Davor Škrlec (Greens/EFA, HR) - Rules on non-commercial movement of pets on EU flights (2017-03-24)

Q: Davor Škrlec (Greens/EFA, HR) - Rules on non-commercial movement of pets on EU flights (2017-03-24)

The rules on pet movement options on non-commercial EU flights have been regulated differently by European airlines. The airlines clearly define the conditions in which a pet can travel together with the owner in the passenger compartment, and when it can travel in the baggage compartment. The EU lacks common regulation of issues, such as conditions in the cabin in which pets not eligible for passenger compartments are placed, the maximum allowable temperature and pressure, taking into account the health and sensitive nature of some animals separated from their owners. Airlines have clearly stipulated their conditions, but the mechanism for controlling the conditions in which they place the animals is lacking.

Is the Commission planning to develop measures, in consultation with the relevant representatives from EU airlines, which will, at EU level and in accordance with the legislation on the welfare and protection of animals, set sanitary and other relevant standards for the rooms inside aeroplanes which accommodate pets separated from their owners? If so, how does it plan to implement them?

A: Ms Bulc on behalf of the Commission (2017-06-17)

The Commission does not have legal grounds to intervene on what remains a commercial decision taken by an EU-operating air carrier. In particular, it would note that regulation (EC) No 261/2004 and Regulation (EC) No 2027/97 do not cover such cases.

The only relevant EU rules are found in Article 10 in connection with Annex II of Regulation (EC) No 1107/2006, which requires air carriers to carry recognised assistance dogs in the cabin, subject to national regulations.

The International Air Transport Association (‘IATA’) has developed a set of regulations on the carriage of live animals and most of the EU airlines have well-defined rules on the carriage of live animals on board.

 It is not the intention of the Commission to propose rules governing the commercial choices of air carriers regarding the transport of pets. However, the Commission considers that all conditions attached to the non-commercial movement of pets on EU flights should be clearly announced to the passenger when booking the ticket.