It is thought heat was a factor in the death of the dogs, as one dog was reportedly left on the hot tarmac for an extended amount of time before being loaded into the aircraft.
“These increasingly popular breeds are at significantly higher risk of health complications due to their short snouts and respiratory systems,” Qantas said in a statement. “These risks are compounded in warm weather.”
The proposed changes to the pet travel policies include a requirement that all snub-nosed dogs be cleared for flying by a registered vet immediately prior to travel. Other changes proposed are recommendations that customers use registered animal shipping companies who have vets stationed at major capital city airports, and a long-term review of the equipment used for handling pets in airports to better cater to vulnerable breeds.
Meanwhile, Virgin Australia has made the decision to cease transporting any snub-nosed dogs breeds for the foreseeable future.
The breeds at risk include:
- French Bulldogs
- Shih Tzu
- Boston Terrier
- Japanese Chin
- some Mastiffs
- Griffon Bruxellios
The changes will impact those who travel with pets, or those who purchase animals from breeders who then fly the animals interstate. So, if you plan to fly with your pet this year, you’ll need to do your homework.