The Situation on Pets and Public Transport in Australia

This article will focus on animals and pets on planes, but this can apply to all other modes of transportation. There are ways to get pets on planes. However, they won’t be with you on the flight. Unless they’re authorised service and assistance dogs, your beloved pets will be confined to the cargo hold until the end of your flight. There have been cases of other exotic animals being granted access to where passengers sit, the only issue is that it’s in a completely different part of the world. 

Pets in the US

A goanna is allowed to fly right alongside you for the duration of a flight in the US. This might seem a little unfair, since other owners around the world are being deprived of their pets while flying. However, flight attendants and passengers have to put up with any accidents your pets might make while flying. As a pet owner, you know about this and why others might not be too eager for pets to be up and around.

Victoria and South Australia

If you’re living in Victoria or South Australia, the regulations for pets to be allowed on public transport aren’t as restrictive as they are in New South Wales. There was even a python that was brought onto a train in Adelaide by its owner! Although it was supposedly in breach of transport regulations, the police didn’t flag it. Small dogs, cats and animals are allowed on buses, trains, trams and ferries, as long as they are in the appropriate carry-on bags and cages. Larger dogs are even allowed onto public transport in Victoria, so long as they are leashed and muzzled. Commuters are heavily advised though to not travel with their companions during peak hours. 

The Situation in New South Wales

Unfortunately, pets aren’t allowed onto Sydney Trains and other trains operating in New South Wales. This is unless their service dogs and have the proper permits and accreditations. There is an upside to this, with smaller pets being allowed on buses, ferries and light rail as long as they are in proper containers. They must also receive permission from the staff or drivers. So more often than not, you might find yourself being refused passage to where you need to go because the staff are wary of things like potential accidents and smells. They’re also not allowed onto seats or obstruct the pathways for passengers. 

Potential Ride Sharing in the Future

Another thing to address is ride sharing for pets. While it’s not a thing in Australia (yet), it’s only a matter of time. Especially when it’s starting to pick up in the US. Uber drivers are preparing to use their vehicles to transport both people and pets to destinations. It’s also great to see that pretty much all household pets are being accepted on rides. This includes animals like turtles and birds. Birds and aquatic lifeforms will need to be contained for safety purposes. However, pets such as cats and dogs are able to travel without their cages. However seatbelts and other ways to secure your animal are highly encouraged. It’s still in the trial stages, however it won’t be long before this becomes an official service. 

There is a reason why Australia has so many regulations regarding pets on public transport. It’s most probably for safety reasons, not just for passengers and commuters but also for the animals travelling. Allergies are one of those things that can affect the entire commute. It’s easy to see why it’s easier to simply not allow all animals apart from the service and assistance dogs. Still, it’s only a matter of time until animals are allowed onto public transport. Especially since there are so many pets in Australia, with no signs of decreasing. Whether it be in ride sharing vehicles or on public transport, we can only hope that laws will change in the next few years or so, so that we don’t have to always drive to and from places so that our pets can get to places.

There is a reason why Australia has so many regulations regarding pets on public transport. It’s most probably for safety reasons, not just for passengers and commuters but also for the animals travelling. Allergies are one of those things that can affect the entire commute. It’s easy to see why it’s easier to simply not allow all animals apart from the service and assistance dogs. Still, it’s only a matter of time until animals are allowed onto public transport. Especially since there are so many pets in Australia, with no signs of decreasing. Whether it be in ride sharing vehicles or on public transport, we can only hope that laws will change in the next few years or so, so that we don’t have to always drive to and from places so that our pets can get to places.