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Monday
Apr092018

Major airline association rolls out new certification program for handling live animals

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- The International Air Transport Association (IATA), a leading trade group that represents 280 airlines worldwide, recently announced a new certification program designed to ensure the well-being of animals traveling by air.

The voluntary certification program called the Center of Excellence for Independent Validators (CEIV) for Live Animals Logistics builds on IATA’s current set of animal transportation rules -- widely regarded as the industry standard -- with input from air transport and animal experts to improve service quality throughout the supply chain.

“As an industry, we have a duty of care to ensure that standards and best practices are in place around the world to protect the welfare of these animals,” said Nick Careen, IATA’s senior vice president of the airport, passenger, cargo, and security. “For those shipping live animals, the CEIV Live Animals program will provide a reliable quality benchmark.”

The certification program, which was announced April 5, involves training personnel to account for the physical and emotional health of animals across a variety of species.

CEIV certification is intended for airlines, airports, ground handling, freight, and animal shipping companies, according to IATA. Companies who obtain the certification will be listed in a registry on IATA’s website.

IATA’s new certification comes after a series of recent headlines involving United Airlines' mishandling of live animals, including the death of a dog after stowing the animal in an overhead bin and loading other dogs onto the wrong flights.

The certification program was developed over the course of at least a year and was not a direct response to the United incidents, IATA spokesperson Perry Flint said. He added that the program was inspired by the success of CEIV Pharma, another IATA certification program for transporting environment-sensitive pharmaceuticals.

United, for its part, told ABC News Monday it will “consider any reasonable recommendation that improves the overall safety and comfort of all animals that we fly.”

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