The IPATA Brachycephalic Certification Program isn't designed to allow more animals to fly, but to identify those who shouldn't fly.
Transport of Brachycephalic breeds by air has become increasingly difficult due to airline policy restrictions affecting the movement of these breeds. Whilst airlines have the right to refuse carriage to any breed they see fit, the movement of Brachycephalic breeds globally, and the demand on airlines, remains at an all-time high due to the popularity of these breeds.
Brachycephalic breeds can be transported humanely and safely by identifying those pets that SHOULD NOT FLY (severely BOAS affected) using a specific IPATA Fit-to-Fly Assessment Sheet, performed by a certified Veterinarian.
It is necessary to distinguish between a normal brachycephalic individual and one affected by BOAS. The term brachycephalic denotes a dog that is “short skulled”.
Not all brachycephalic individuals have BOAS, in fact in our data less than only 5% brachycephalic dogs are severely affected by BOAS.
BOAS is an umbrella term for a group of anatomical abnormalities leading to obstruction and narrowing of the airways characterized narrow nasal openings, elongated soft palate, thick, fleshy tongue, larynx (voice box) abnormalities and narrowed windpipe.
The IPATA Research and Development (R&D) Task Force has developed the Brachycephalic Fit-To-Fly Assessment - created to individually assess the general health and grade the animal for its respiratory function (BOAS assessment).
Those animals identified with severe respiratory compromise are considered unfit to fly.
The Fit-To-Fly Assessment supports the widely held view that there are specific “high risk” brachycephalic breeds; All Bulldogs (French, English, American, Australian) Pugs and Boston Terriers that warrant a higher degree of scrutiny compared to other snub-nosed breeds.
The BOAS Certification Program has been developed to achieve consistency regarding veterinary assessments, and to ensure all those involved in the process understand the importance of identifying those (few) animals that should not fly.