Miniature Horses Can Now Travel On Domestic Flights As Service Animals
The federal government just released a new set of guidelines that allows miniature horses to ride on domestic flights. The new rules allow passengers to bring many bizarre animals on flights, including miniature horses.
“With respect to animal species, we indicated that we would focus our enforcement efforts on ensuring that the most commonly used service animals (dogs, cats, and miniature horses) are accepted for transport,” the U.S. Department of Transportation said in a statement.
Airlines will now actually face potential fines if they ban the horses from boarding their flights, but they will still be able to consider whether other service animals (except for dogs and cats) will be allowed to travel on a case by case basis.
This comes one year after Southwest Airlines became the first airline to allow miniature horses to travel with passengers if they were designated as service animals. Southwest said at the time that the creatures “must be trained to behave in a public setting and must be under the control of the handler at all times.”
The American Disabilities Act differentiates between service animals and emotional support animals, which are typically used to help with anxiety. The act said service animals must have special training to assist their disabled owners with specific tasks, unlike emotional support animals.
“Even though some states have laws defining therapy animals, these animals are not limited to working with people with disabilities and therefore are not covered by federal laws protecting the use of service animals,” the ADA Training Association states on their website.