15 Jul 2019

Brisbane residents show mixed opinions about four-legged friends on public transport

The RSPCA is calling for dogs to be allowed on all forms of public transport throughout Queensland, but it appears not everyone is keen to see canine commuters.

There were mixed views about the proposal among the texts and calls to ABC Radio Brisbane:

"Seeing a dog on a bus would make me smile." — Emma from Toowong

"I have terrible allergies from animals. I'm not the only one. Also sometimes dogs cause awful injuries." — Jan from New Farm

"No to pets on transport. Rules or no rules, people will always abuse the rules and there will be more issues than there already is on transport." — Kate from the Gold Coast

"I'm a dog owner and former public transport operator. I support any pet in a pet carrier being allowed on, with a caveat that the driver retains discretion to remove it if it is smelly or noisy." — Greg from Beenleigh

"What about my pet goanna? Can he go on the CityCat?" — Keith from South Bank

"Dog owners have been discriminated against by not being able to take dogs to national parks and reserves. They're part of the family and we pay taxes like everyone else." —Mike from Esk

"I love dogs, but not at an eye level with a baby in a pram. I don't want dog hair on my lovely work clothes." — Kay from Narangba

"If dogs are allowed on trains, my cat will be coming to work with me every day in the quiet carriage." — Ty from Thornlands

Dogs only in quiet times

RSPCA spokeswoman Alex Hyndman-Hill said the move would only involve dogs and not other pets.

"It's something we would like to see happen not in peak hours or during the school rush, but a chance for dogs to be on the ferry would help people get out and about the city a little more," she told ABC Radio Brisbane's Craig Zonca and Loretta Ryan.

"We understand that not everyone wants to be near them [dogs] and some people are allergic or don't understand dogs.

"We're not saying you're going to get a rottweiler next to you on the ferry."

Ms Hyndman-Hill said similar arrangements had proved successful in cities such as New York and Paris.

"There can be a restriction placed on size, fitting to a basket or a bag to make sure they're carried and people can control them," she said.

"If it's done outside peak hours, we can make sure that there aren't crammed spaces with people up next to dogs.

"It gives everyone the opportunity to share the space and they could also be charged for a child seat."

Gaining the good-dog tick

Part of the agreement would see dogs receive accreditation to ride on public transport, Ms Hyndman-Hill said.

"There needs to be strict rules around it and we would make sure that when they see a vet, they can ensure they're not a dangerous dog and are suitable for public transport," she said.

"They would need a good-dog tick of approval.

"Any dog that goes to the dog parks have to have their council tag on, and this would be the same on transport."

When it came to dogs barking and being disruptive, Ms Hyndman-Hill said it would be up to the drivers to use their discretion on removing the dog.

"Like rowdy teenagers mucking around on the bus, they get kicked off.

"If someone has a dog barking or the like, you don't let them on the bus."

It follows New Farm resident Annie Boxall's petition to allow dogs on ferries.

Since being launched earlier this year, the petition has received more than 900 signatures for dogs to be allowed on public transport.

SOURCE ; https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-02-20/pets-and-public-transport-debate-in-queensland/10828582

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