August 18, 2010
Brachycephalic dog breeds such as Bulldogs and Pugs represented about half the dogs that died during transport as cargo by U.S. airlines in the past five years, according to data from the Department of Transportation.
Since May 2005, U.S. airlines have had to file monthly reports with the DOT on incidents involving the death, injury, or loss of pets during transport as cargo.
In the past five years, airlines have reported 122 dog deaths, along with the deaths of 22 other pets, and 88 incidents involving injuries to pets or loss of pets. The DOT believes the number of dogs and other pets that die during transport as air cargo is an extremely small percentage of the total number of pets that airlines carry.
Eliminating data on deaths of mixed-breed dogs and dogs for which breed was unknown, about half the pet dogs that died during transport as air cargo in the past five years belonged to brachycephalic breeds such as English Bulldogs, Pugs, French Bulldogs, and American Staffordshire Terriers.
In a press release, the DOT advised owners of brachycephalic breeds to review the data before transporting their dogs as air cargo. The DOT further advised owners of brachycephalic breeds to consult their veterinarians about the medical condition of their dogs before deciding to transport the animals as air cargo.
The DOT press release and data on dog deaths are available at http://airconsumer.dot.gov by clicking on "What's New."