I recently saw a segment on the news regarding Brisbane Buses and Trains taking pets on board- specifically dogs, and a petition going around to allow dogs on trains and buses.
There seemed to be a divide between those that want this to happen and those that think they shouldn’t travel on public transport unless they are a registered assistance dog.
In the US and Europe it seems that dogs and cats ( in carriers) can go pretty much everywhere but Australia has a lot of restrictions on taking your pet out and about. There were dogs on leads on the Titanic way back in the day and celebrities are often seen carrying their dogs in their handbags or just holding them.
We, here in Oz, seem to have different rules for different states – so at time of writing this we have the following info.
Victoria – If you want to take your pet on public transport, small animals must be in a suitable carrier and only one carrier per person. Dogs must be on a lead and muzzled. They must not take a seat or block aisles and doorways. They must be under your control at all times and naturally you must clean up should they wish to toilet on board. You must also avoid peak times between 7-9 am and 4-6pm.
V-Line buses do not allow any animals unless they are assistance dogs – this includes rail replacement buses.
|Train||No pets on stations and trains|
|Bus||Yes, with permission from the driver|
|Coach||No pets at coach stops or on coaches|
|Ferry||Yes, with permission from the crew|
|Light rail||Yes,, with permission from light rail staff|
|Taxis||Yes, if the vehicle is suitable and with permission from the driver|
When boarding public transport with a pet or other animal, please be aware that:
- The animal must be restrained in a suitable box, basket or other container at all times while on board.
- The driver or crew may refuse to allow the animal if the service is reaching capacity.
- Animals that are not clean, appear vicious or likely to annoy, threaten or inconvenience other customers will not be allowed.
- Animals are not allowed on seats and must not obstruct passageways.
- You should keep your animal away from other travelling animals to ensure the safety and comfort of other customers and pets
- On ferries, animals should not travel in the enclosed ferry cabin areas, unless the vessel does not have an outdoor area or it is unavailable
Assistance dogs are allowed of course but check with your chosen mode of transport as to whether a seat needs to be purchased and any other restrictions re taking your dog on board.
Planes require your pet to travel in cargo and this can be quite stressful for them. Speak to your vet and maybe they can sedate them to relax them and help them sleep through the flight.
Pretty much, from what I can gather, dogs ( and seems all pets) are not allowed on public transport if they are not registered assistance animals – hence the petition. I have been trying to google the petition link If anyone wishes to sign but its pretty elusive.
Canberra, South Australia, Western Australia and NT - no rules I can find so if you live in any of these locations and know what the story is , please let me know so I can update the story
Question is this – would you want to be on a train/tram/bus or ferry and be sharing the area with a dog ( or cat in a carrier)? I wouldn’t be concerned as long as the owner wasn’t putting the dog on a seat and I was having to stand and it wasn’t making any little deposits on the floor around me. Add to that I would expect the owner to have complete control of the dog and it was trained and well behaved. I suspect the majority of animals would be much better than many humans that get on public transport!
The arguments against are
Dogs fighting – barking and getting aggressive.
Dogs getting in way and potentially causing falls ( especially with elderly passengers or small kids)
Allergies – There are people that genuinly cant be around animals without having a severe reaction.
Dogs being a Nuisance to other passengers.
Its a tough one.. I would, as a general rule, prefer to be with animals than many people we see on public transport but it could be that it becomes just too hard to find a way to do it.
Do we give certain pets a licence to travel on public transport - making training and vaccinations a mandatory proviso to allowing them on the transport. Then it becomes well who polices it- Who ensures only the "legal" pets get on board??
What are your thoughts? Should pets be allowed to travel on our trains/trams, buses and ferries? Would love to hear your input.
Please share this blog with friends/family/work colleagues that you think might be interested in it.
If you have thoughts on the subject of animals on transport, please share them. No judgement, just want to hear other people's thoughts.