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American Airlines bans goats, snakes and rodents as emotional support animals. Miniature horses still clear to fly – National


American Airlines is clamping down on what animals passengers bring onboard for emotional support, restricting goats, insects and a slew of other critters, the airline announced Monday.

Effective for tickets issued July 1 or later, American Airlines will no longer allow the following animals to be permitted as “service or emotional support animals due to safety and/or public health risk”: amphibians, ferrets, goats, hedgehogs, insects, reptiles, rodents, snakes, spiders and sugar gliders.

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Non-household birds, such as farm poultry, waterfowl, game birds, and predatory birds are no longer permitted.

READ MORE: United Airlines denies peacock support animal to board plane in New Jersey

Animals with tusks, horns or hooves are also a no-go. However, miniature horses that have been properly trained as service animals are an exception.

The airlines is also forbidding any animal that is unclean and or has an odour.

“We support the rights of customers, from veterans to people with disabilities, with legitimate needs for a trained service or support animal,” the airline said in a statement. “Unfortunately, untrained animals can lead to safety issues for our team, our customers and working dogs onboard our aircraft.”

The company noted that the air carrier saw a 40 per cent increase to 2017 from 2016 of passengers travelling with a service or support animal.

READ MORE: Florida woman says airline told her to flush pet hamster down the toilet

American Airlines will now require a 48-hour, advance notice and pre-clearance for emotional support animals. Passengers must provide documentation signed by a doctor or licensed mental health professional, and provide proof that the animal is clean and healthy. Passengers were previously allowed to provide the documents the day of their flight.

As for Canadian airlines, WestJet allows “qualified individuals with a disability” to bring emotional support dogs, cats, miniature horses, pigs and monkeys on most flights. However, snakes, reptiles, ferrets, rodents and spiders are not allowed due to health and safety risks.

“Only one emotional support animal may be held on the lap of a guest with the disability, provided that the animal is no larger than a two-year-old child,” the airliner says. “If WestJet determines that your animal is over the size of a two-year-old child the animal must travel at your feet.”

WestJet also requires documentation similar to what American Airlines requires, and the paperwork needs to be dated no more than a year before planned travel.

READ MORE: U.S. Airways says pig not allowed to fly after becoming disruptive

Air Canada has a very strict emotional support animal policy. The airliner only accepts dogs and an “emotional support or psychiatric service animal.” Air Canada also requires 48 hours advance notice from day of travel, and passengers must provide similar documentation as other airliners.

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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