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Airline Bans Certain Emotional Support Animals, Including Hedgehogs and Goats




New rules take effect July 1.

American Airlines has announced new restrictions for its emotional support animal policy.

The company said it will no longer allow certain animals under the policy. Among them are insects, hedgehogs and goats.

American also said it will now enforce its existing 48-hour advanced notice and pre-clearance policy for emotional support animals, but will have procedures in place for emergency travel booked within 48 hours of departure, according to a press release.


The new requirements will take effect July 1.

American said it, like other airlines, has experienced an increase in customers transporting a service or support animal onboard its aircraft — more than 40 percent from 2016 to 2017. Before settling on its new policy, it met with disability groups including American Association of People with Disabilities, Paralyzed Veterans of America, American Council for the Blind and My Blind Spot, according to the release.

“We support the rights of customers, from veterans to people with disabilities, with legitimate needs for a trained service or support animal,” the company stated. “Unfortunately, untrained animals can lead to safety issues for our team, our customers and working dogs onboard our aircraft.”

These creatures won’t be allowed under the emotional support animal policy:

  • Amphibians
  • Ferrets
  • Goats
  • Hedgehogs
  • Insects
  • Reptiles
  • Rodents
  • Snakes
  • Spiders
  • Sugar gliders
  • Non-household birds (farm poultry, waterfowl, game birds, & birds of prey)
  • Animals with tusks, horns or hooves (excluding miniature horses properly trained as service animals)
  • Any animal that is unclean/has an odor




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