Most recently, transportation regulators had said that dogs, cats and miniature horses should be prioritized as service animals by airlines. But passengers have tried to travel with monkeys, birds and rabbits, raising eyebrows of other passengers and testing airline policies.
Federal transportation officials said Wednesday that disruptions caused by taking unusual species aboard airlines had “eroded the public trust in legitimate service animals” and that there were increasing cases of travelers “fraudulently representing their pets as service animals.”
The new rules require airlines to treat psychiatric service animals the same as other service animals. The owners of those service animals must provide documentation developed by the Transportation Department attesting to the animal’s health, behavior and training.