Thursday, 16 July 2009

Taking pets aboard flights

Until recently, Air Canada would not allow pets on board its flights, but recently changed this policy. Canada's other major airline, WestJet, already allows some pets on board. Public health journalist Andre Picard criticized these policies in his Globe & Mail column, spurring spirited debate among readers -- 161 at the time of writing. Passionate replies have been posted from both sides of the issue.

This debate highlights the importance -- and the difficulty -- of stemming conflicts related to the presence of pets. In addition to positive (e.g., animal-human bonds) and negative (e.g., allergies) effects of pets on the health of particular individuals, there is a body of research suggesting that such conflicts may have an impact on public health more generally. Ann Toohey, who will begin a MSc in Population and Public Health in September, is currently taking the lead in reviewing this literature.


Anonymous said...

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Melanie Rock said...

Thanks, Patricia, for your interest!