UK and Irish Airlines must fall in line with the rest of Europe allowing small pets to travel with their owner in the cabin rather than as cargo, thereby cutting the high costs of air travel for cats and dogs.
Currently, there are *no* UK or Irish airlines that allow small dogs or cats to travel in the cabin of the plane (inside a pet carrier), which is something most other European countries´ airlines do allow. This is an affordable way to transport your pet compared to the astronomical cost of UK airlines and "pet reception" services. Ireland has it even worse because they need to fly to the UK first and then take a connecting flight from there. DEFRA needs to abolish its ridiculous insistence that animals have to travel as manifest cargo and making these "pet transport companies" compulsory. Pets weighing more than 8 kg should be allowed to travel with their owners as "special luggage" at similar prices as buggies, golf equipment, bicycles, etc.
As an example, to fly one cat as cargo from Lanzarote to London costs around £600 (approx. €700), whereas taking a cat or small dog into the cabin with you to go from Lanzarote to Germany, Holland or Belgium will only incur the cost of extra hand luggage, charged per kilo (between £50 and £100, in the cabin or hold).
The following are the results that these high prices (which can NOT be justified) that the UK/Ireland charges are causing:
1. A big increase in pets being abandoned because people cannot afford the cost to get their animal back to the UK/Ireland (especially during this time of economic crisis). We witness it all the time, people who leave the European country they have lived in to return to the UK/Ireland, simply "dumping" their animals on the street or with people whom they tell "it´s only for a short while, we´ll come back and pick up the cat/dog in a month or so" (of course they don´t come back), who then in turn tend to dump or neglect these animals.
2. The local charities who are already stretched to the limits cannot cope with the increased amount of abandoned animals.
3. Cats that are not feral to begin with who are abandoned can suffer and die from depression and do not fare well living on the streets, and dogs generally end up getting run over by a car.
WHY do most other European airlines that operate in, for example, Germany, Holland, Belgium, Spain etc., allow small pets to travel inside the cabin, paid for as extra hand luggage, but UK and Irish airlines do not? Since there is no more quarantine these days and the PETS Scheme applies to the UK and Ireland as well, this is obviously not because of health and safety issues, but surely comes down only to money and greed and not the welfare of our pets.
We also see many German, Dutch, Belgian, Spanish etc. tourists taking their small dogs (and sometimes cats) on holiday with them, because it is affordable and simple to do with their airlines. There is NO reason whatsoever why UK/Irish airlines cannot do the same.
Pet Owners and Pet Lovers on the island of Lanzarote, the UK, Ireland and elsewhere in Europe demand that changes are made in the way that small pets are transported flying from other European countries to and from the UK and Ireland.
This petition does not only stand for Lanzarote, but all other destinations in Europe from where you can not take your pet inside the cabin to fly to the UK and Ireland and have to pay ridiculous prices for pets travelling as cargo.