Pigs can fly – but should they?
Canadians are about evenly split on the issue of whether pets – cats, dogs and less common companion and service animals – should be allowed to accompany their owners in passenger cabins of planes, according to a new study from the Angus Reid Institute.
Ruffly 45 per cent of Canadians polled say that they’re fine to fly with Fido, just squeaky-toying past the number (42 per cent) of respondents that say Kitty should be confined to cargo.
But, Angus Reid notes in a news release, "answers to such question largely depends on who is being asked. Young women? They’re likely on board. Two-thirds (66 per cent) are accepting of another passenger’s feline friend, while just one-in-five (21 per cent) are not. Older men? Not so fast. Twice as many say pets should not be allowed (61 per cent) as say they should (29 per cent)."
By region, Atlantic Canadians are the most likely to accept it if Spot were to sit and stay next to them in the plane. Fifty-six per cent of people from the region were likely to say OK to kitty, compared to the overall Canadian mark of 45 per cent. Quebecers at 37 per cent had the lowest approval rating.
A majority of Canadians feel that travellers are abusing the ‘service animal’ label in order to get otherwise unauthorized animals on the plane
"Many of those opposed have specific reasons as to why they’d prefer not to share the cabin with kitty," said the pollster's news release. "Two-in-five (41 per cent) say allergies are their primary concern, while one-in-five (21 per cent) are concerned about the noise that might result from more pets on board.
"Further, a majority of Canadians feel that travellers are abusing the ‘service animal’ label in order to get otherwise unauthorized animals on the plane with them."
Angus Reid says that "Air Canada and WestJet both have regulations in place to accommodate emotional support animals, however, Air Canada accepts only dogs, while West Jet accepts pigs, miniature horses, and monkeys among other animals. (Snakes are among the creatures that don't make the cut).
Angus Reid also found that size and pet placement matter. Of those polled who think pets should be accommodated, 86 per cent say they are happy to have pets aboard that can fit under a seat. But just 47 per cent would be OK with having a large pet sit in its own seat purchased by the owner (no word on who gets the arm rest).