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  4. RSPCA Policy F8 Transportation of animals by air or sea

RSPCA Policy F8 Transportation of animals by air or sea

8.1The RSPCA believes that the transportation of animals by air within Australia and internationally to and from Australia must be carried out, at the very minimum, in accordance with the International Air Transport Association’s Live Animal Regulations.
8.2Records accompanying animals throughout the air or sea transport journeys must clearly state the last time the animal(s) had an exercise break and access to food and water.
8.3Special consideration must be given to animals at heightened risk of welfare and health compromise during air or sea transport.
8.4Companion animals
8.4.1Owners or caregivers of companion animals should consult with their veterinarian at least one month before air or sea transport for an assessment of the animal’s suitability for travel and to give time to address any identified issues. Companion animals should then be examined by a veterinarian in the seven-day period immediately prior to departure to ensure they are fit for transport.
8.4.2Air or sea transport of animals at high risk of their welfare being compromised must be avoided. This includes, but is not limited to, vulnerable animals (e.g. animals in their third trimester of pregnancy and those under 12 weeks of age), highly anxious animals and animals with underlying health issues that are likely to be exacerbated by air or sea travel, including most individuals of brachycephalic breeds. Brachycephalic animals must not be transported by air unless strictly necessary and only then with extreme caution.
8.4.3The RSPCA supports the adoption of air and sea transport policies which allow companion animals to travel, appropriately contained, in the aircraft or vessel with their owner or caregiver. Owners or caregivers must ensure that their animal is under control, socialised to other animals and people, is calm and comfortable when travelling and, clean up after their animal.

(adopted 21/05/2023)

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Updated on July 6, 2023

RSPCA policies reflect the best available evidence to direct and guide RSPCA and others, to promote and achieve good animal welfare outcomes.

Reference to ‘the RSPCA’ or ‘RSPCA’ in this document means RSPCA Australia and each of the RSPCA Australia member Societies.

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