Government laying out plans for animals on planes

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The government is telling airlines and passengers how it will enforce rules governing animals that people bring on planes.

The Transportation Department said Thursday that airline employees can bar any animal they consider a safety threat. Airlines, however, can be punished if they ban an entire dog or cat breed, such as pit bulls.

The department’s enforcement office said that it doesn’t plan to stop airlines from asking passengers “reasonable” questions about a service animal’s vaccinations, training and behavior.

Airlines can also require advance notice if passengers plan to bring an emotional support animal, but can’t impose the same requirement for service animals such as guide dogs for the blind.

The Transportation Department plans to publish the guidelines next week, and airlines will have 30 days after that to adapt their rules with the federal policy.

The Transportation Department endorsed many other rules that airlines have adopted, such as barring extremely young animals and exotic ones including snakes from the cabin.

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