17 Jul 2019

Hundreds call for pets to be let on Brisbane buses, trains and ferries

The RSPCA has backed calls for pets to be allowed to travel on buses, ferries and trains in Brisbane to boost the economy.

It comes after a petition with almost 700 signatures by New Farm resident Annie Boxall for dogs to be allowed on public transport.

The idea comes with a proposal for a "certification program" which would allow dogs to travel on public transport as long as they had been given a "good boy" tick of approval for behaviour and socialisation standards.

Pooches are allowed on public transport in cities across the world, including Paris, Washington and New York.

RSPCA Queensland spokeswoman Alex Hyndman Hill said changing the law would benefit dogs, pet owners and the wider community.

"The RSPCA Queensland receives over 1000 distress calls each year about animals being left in hot cars," she said.

"If owners had alternative methods of transporting their pets, such as being able to take them on the bus or ferry, we would hope to see a reduction in this number.

"From an economic perspective, allowing pets on public transport would encourage people to take their furry friends out and about more often, which brings more business to the local community."

In 2018, more than 107,000 dogs were registered with the Brisbane City Council.

Ms Hyndman said the number of pets continued to rise.

"Each year, the RSPCA see around 39,000 cats and 39,000 dogs in Australia find good homes or be reunited with their family," she said.

"It's not fair that there is a Go Card for humans but a no card for our pets."

The petition said it was "near impossible" to get around Brisbane with a dog without private transport.

"The many positive aspects of dogs on transport are well documented across social media - more positive human interaction, enjoyment of patting the dogs, reducing travel stress for everyone, increasing human socialisation and interaction, etc," the petition reads.

A TransLink spokesman said the agency understood why people would want to travel with their pets on public transport.

"However, there are practical reasons why TransLink does not allow pets on public transport," he said.

Those reasons were for the safety and allergy-prevention of passengers, space restrictions, particularly on peak services, because not all pets may be well-trained or behaved, some people were not comfortable with animals and for legal reasons.

"Approved assistance animals (guide dogs) are allowed on the public transport network," the spokesman said.

"Customers wishing to travel with an assistance animal are required to hold a TransLink assistance animal pass.

"TransLink has no plans to change our policy, which is in line with many other states in Australia."

SOURCE ; https://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/politics/queensland/hundreds-call-for-pets-to-be-let-on-brisbane-buses-trains-and-ferries-20190219-p50yqb.html

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