Certain airlines, such as Lufthansa, allow pets under a certain weight to travel with their owners in the aircraft cabin to EU Member States when the legislation of the Member State of entry so allows. When a passenger travels to and from Ireland, however, a pet is only allowed in the cabin when the passenger leaves the country.
Can the Commission clarify whether the fact that pets can only enter Ireland if they are sent in the hold constitutes a breach of EC law or some form of discrimination?
The transport of pet animals into Ireland has already been addressed by the Commission in its reply to Written Question E010362/2012.
Member States are responsible for the control and enforcement of EC law, including legislation on the animal health requirements
applicable to the non-commercial movement of pet animals into a Member State from another Member State. Member States are also required under EU legislation on official controls to perform controls to verify compliance with feed and food law, animal health and animal welfare rules.
In order to ensure that compliance checks on pet animals are carried out in a non-discriminatory way, Ireland requires the operator of an aircraft to give advance notice of the arrival of a pet animal. In this framework, the aircraft operator may decide to require that pets are transported in the hold. Travellers with pets are advised, prior to any check-in, to consult the information available at the airline companies’ website. This practice cannot be considered as being against the abovementioned EU rules.