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Airlines Develop Policies for Emotional Support Animals

Digested from The Washington Post

With incidents, such as biting, on the rise, one airline has taken steps to tighten its emotional support animal policy.

The apartment industry is not the only place experiencing a rise in emotional support animal conflict.

These animals are becoming an issue for airlines and the results have not always been good, according to The Washington Post’s Karin Brulliard.

It recently announced changes to increase scrutiny about its passengers flying with service or comfort animals -- Delta says it flew 250,000 of such animals last year, which was a 150 percent increase over 2016. Incidents reported of those animals biting or defecating during flights had nearly doubled since 2016.

“Delta emphasized safety concerns in detailing the increased documentation owners that will be required to provide about their animals,” Brulliard writes. “But its action also was spurred by a widespread perception among airlines and disability rights advocates that some fliers are fraudulently taking advantage of the federal law to bring untrained pets of myriad species into crowded cabins.”
Sound familiar?

Along with expanding its list of prohibited animals, including “farm poultry,” hedgehogs and anything with tusks, Delta tightened its policies.

“Passengers with trained service animals will need to submit a veterinary health form at least 48 hours before travel to the airline’s new ‘Service Animal Support Desk,’ ” Brulliard writes. “Customers with emotional-support animals or psychiatric service animals must do the same but also must provide a letter from a doctor or mental-health professional and a signed document saying the animal is trained to behave in public.”

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