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Delta Air Lines stops flying bulldogs

Your bulldog is no longer welcome on Delta Air Lines, and it’s for their own good.

As we reported last summer, short-snouted dogs run a far higher risk of death when it comes to air travel, with bulldogs heading the list of cargo hold fatalities, according to federal government statistics.

Bulldogs, pugs and other snub-nosed breeds for whom its harder to take in oxygen accounted for about half of the purebred dog deaths on airplanes in the past five years, the data showed.

Since then two air lines have stop accepting bulldogs as passengers, most recently Delta, which based on its review of animal incidents last year, has opted to no longer carry American, English and French bulldogs.

Of the 16 pets that died on Delta flights in 2010, six were bulldogs.

Animal advocates are praising the decision, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.

“We’re pleased that Delta is being attentive and responsive to the particular animal welfare concerns with bulldogs,” said Michael Markarian, chief operating officer of the Humane Society of the United States. Shipping pets in cargo holds “really should only be a last resort, when absolutely necessary,” he said.

Other major carriers have restrictions on bulldogs and some other breeds, or decline to carry any pets in their cargo holds. AirTran Airways and Southwest Airlines only accept pets that fit in under-seat carriers. American Airlines stopped carrying snub-nosed dogs and cats last November.

Delta had already restricted a wide range of snub-nosed breeds from flying in hot weather, including pit bulls, pugs and Persian cats.

U.S. Department of Transportation data shows that 122 dogs died on airlines from May 2005 to May 2010. Of those, 25 were English bulldogs and six were French bulldogs.


Comment from RNB
Time April 8, 2011 at 10:23 am

As an airline employee, I will be overjoyed when my line stops accepting pets for carriage — period. The fees collected do not cover the extra labor and damage incurred, and the only outcome is bad publicity when an animal escapes or dies (as some inevitably will).

Comment from Zazi
Time April 8, 2011 at 2:21 pm

As an airport employee, animal lover and one that has cats and dogs in my family… I am glad for all precautions taken to enhance life-safety on all levels. Nobody wants to be responsible for the death of a loved one.

Comment from Zazi
Time April 8, 2011 at 6:28 pm

I am very curious about the statistic that was given, that “Of the 16 pets that died on Delta flights, 6 were bulldogs.” So what were the other 10 pets, and cause of death?