Pet Travel is Safest in Years:
Department of Transportation Releases Data

February 25, 2015 -- According to the latest data released from the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), 17 animals died during transport on U.S. airlines in 2014; the lowest number in years.

In 2014, U.S. airlines reported 17 fatalities and 26 injuries when transporting animals. Back in 2010, 39 deaths were reported.

Pet Travel is Safest in Years

The lowest number yet of pet air travel fatalities reported.

The International Pet and Animal Transportation Association (IPATA) estimates that at least one million pets travel on U.S. airlines every year.

The vast majority of health incidences that occur during or after flight are due to pre-existing medical conditions that emerge during the change in surroundings and/or environment involved in a relocation.

"Of course, we wish that no pet would die during transport," says Manuel Leunda, IPATA president. "But as we look at the bigger picture, the numbers are incredibly low and decreasing every year. Air travel is the safest and most humane mode of travel for their pets."

Why are there casualties in pet air travel?

"One reason for the declining number of incidents may be that more people are using professional pet shippers than ever before," says Sally Smith, who has operated Airborne Animals for 25 years. " As a professional pet shipper, I depend on the airlines to provide a safe and reliable service for the pets entrusted to me by their owners. I couldn't be successful in this business if I didn't."

"I depend on the airlines to provide a safe and reliable service for the pets entrusted to me " -Sally Smith, Airborne Animals

Beginning on January 1, 2015, the DOT expanded its rule regarding reporting the loss, injury or death of animals during air transport. The agency will be collecting information from more carriers and including in cabin baggage, accompanied baggage and unaccompanied air cargo shipments and breeder shipments. Read IPATA's press release for more on the changes.

IPATA, the non-profit trade organization dedicated to the care and welfare of pets and animals during transport, supports air travel for pets through commercial airlines cargo systems as being the safest, most expedient and humane means of moving animals throughout the United States and around the world. Through its global network, IPATA works with local governments, policymakers, and the airlines directly to make sure pet travel is as safe as possible and to ensure that the number of fatalities continue to decrease. IPATA members are the local point of contact for a specific pet move, and know which agencies and airlines should be contacted and used regarding that move.


The International Pet and Animal Transportation Association (IPATA) is a non-profit, worldwide trade association for animal handlers, pet moving providers, kennel operators, veterinarians and others who are dedicated to the care and welfare of pets and animals during transport. The organization was founded in 1979. It began with six founding members and now has more than 350 members in over 80 countries. IPATA serves its members, the pet transport industry, and the public at large. For more information, or to find a professional pet shipper, visit

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Media Contact:
Kim Cunningham
IPATA Communication Director
Phone: +1 (781) 223-4042