The illustrations shown in this Container Requirement are
examples only. Containers that conform to the principle of
written guidelines for the species but look slightly
different will still meet the IATA standards.
- Cats (domestic)
- Dogs (domestic)
STATE VARIATIONS: CHG-01/03/04, GBG-01/02/03/04/05, HKG-01, NZG-01, SAG-02, ZCG-02/03/04, EUR-01, USG-Variations.
OPERATOR VARIATIONS: AA-09, AF-01, BA-04/05, AC-03, CO-04/05/06/07/08/09/10, CX-05, CX-06, EI-01, EK-05, LX-05/06, OK-01/05, SV-01, QF-01
For carriage of domestic pets in passenger cabins as accompanied baggage see Chapters 2 and 3.
(Some governmental regulations require that the container must be sealed
during transportation. Certain airlines will not carry
wooden containers. See exceptions AUG-01 and NZG-01 in
Chapter 2; C-01 and QF-01 in Chapter 3)
Fibreglass, metal, rigid plastics, weld metal mesh, solid wood or plywood.
Principles of Design
The following principles of design must be met in addition to the Gerneral Container Requirements outlined at the beginning of this chapter.
Containers made entirely of welded mesh or wire mesh are not suitable for air transport.
Rigid plastic containers are suitable for most breeds of dog but their acceptability is at the discretion of the carrier. If a container has wheels, they must be removed or rendered inoperable.
Some rigid plastic containers may not be suitable for large dogs, or dogs that are aggressive. Specially constructed containers of hardwood, metal, plywood or similar material, with two secure door fasteners on each side, are acceptable.
Each animal contained in the container must have enough space to turn about normally while standing, to sit and sit erect, and to lie in a natural position.
For wooden containers, an outer frame of 2.5 cm x 7.5 cm (1 inch x 3 inch) lumber screwed or bolted together and lined with solid wood or plywood sides is acceptable.
For two part, rigid plastic containers, all hardware must be present and properly installed. For containers made of wood, plywood of a minimum of 12 mm (1/2 inch) or equivalent material must be used to line the outer framework. Side walls must be solid with sufficient ventilation as prescribed. The interior of the container must be smooth with no protrusions that the animal can bite or scratch to cause damage to the integrity of the container in any way.
The whole of the one end of the container must be open, covered with bars, weldmesh or smooth expanded metal which is securely fixed to the container so that the animal cannot dislodge it.
Handling Spacer Bars / Handles
Must be provided along the middle of both long sides of the container.
The floor must be solid and leak-proof.
The roof must be solid, but ventilation holes are allowed over the whole surface provided that they do not reduce the integrity of the strength of the roof itself.
The door must form the whole of one end of the container. It can be either sliding or hinged.
There must be an adequate means of fastening and sealing for those containers destined for countries where sealing is required. Large doors will require additional hinges and two or three secure means of fastening to be fully secure.
The door must be constructed of plastic, welded or case metal of sufficient gauge or thickness so as they preclude the animal from bending or distorting the door. Doors made of plastic material are permitted, provided that hinges and locking pins are made of metal of sufficient gauge and thickness.
For rigid plastic containers, the door hinge and locking pins must engage the container by at least 1.6 cm (5/8 in) beyond the horizontal extrusions above and below the door opening where the pins are fitted.
The shipper must ensure that all hardware and fasteners are in place and serviceable.
Ventilation is provided by an open end to the container (which can be the door) and by ventilation openings of a minimum of 2.5 cm (1 in) over the upper two thirds of the opposite end and the remaining two sides, at a distance of 10 cm (4 in) from centre to centre of each opening.
In the case of specially constructed large dog containers the open end must be covered by closely spaced metal bars or a double weld mesh with 1 cm (1/2 in) spacing between the meshes.
The total ventilated area must be at least 16% of the total surface of the four sides. The provision of additional holes on the roof or sides of the container or larger mesh covered holes in order to increase the ventilation are permitted.
All openings must be nose and paw-proof, in the case of cats and small dogs these may have to be covered with mesh. It is very important that no animal has any surface or edge at which it can gnaw or scratch.
Feed and water containers
Water container must be present within the container with outside access for filling. Food containers must be present either within the container, if sealed, or attached to it for use in cases of delay.
Must be provided for all containers where the total weight with the animal exceeds 60 kg (132 lb).
Specific Pathogen Free (SPF) dogs and cats must be transported in containers whose dimensions conform to the requirements published in this Container Requirement. SPF labeling must be affixed to the container plus "This Way Up" labels. Filter containers for SPF consignments have special gauge air filters fixed in the ventilation apertures. Ventilation must be a minimum of 16% of the surface area of the four sides. Sufficient water must be provided for the journey. Food must be provided, if required, at the point of origin in order that the sealed container is not opened during transport. A viewing panel must be provided on SPF containers.
A green "Live Animals" label / tag or red "Laboratory Animals" label/tag is mandatory on all live animal consignments. "This Way Up" labels/tags are also mandatory and must be placed on all four sides of the container whenever possible. The label or tag can be imprinted on the container.
Typical rigid plastic dog container
1. A maximum of two adult animals of comparable size up to 14 kg each, that are used to cohabitation, may be shipped in the same container. Animals over that weight must travel individually.
2. Animals up to six months old from the same litter, up to a maximum quantity of three, may be shipped in the same container/compartment.
Tranquillization of dogs and cats is not recommended.
See General Container Requirements at the beginning of this chapter.
Feed the animal only a light meal and short drink approximately two hours before dispatch and exercise the animal immediately before dispatch.
Snub nose dogs, such as boxers, bulldogs, pekinese and pugs, are affected more than other breeds by rarefied atmosphere and care must be taken to ensure that the front of the container has open bars from the top to the bottom of the box for ventilation. It is essential that the animal be free from respiratory troubles.
Shipment of females in heat (oestrus) is not recommended.
Females with suckling young and unweaned animals will not be accepted for carriage.
Weaned puppies younger than eight weeks must not be shipped due to possible dehydration effects in air transportation. Kittens likewise, younger than eight weeks must not be shipped but it is recommended that a veterinary certificate be provided for those under twelve weeks stating the animal(s) is/are fit to be transported because of their small size, especially as some breeds, renders them more susceptible to the effects of dehydration.
Weaned puppies and kittens may travel well together. The quantity must be related to the size and strength of the individual animal. Avoid shipping a weakling which could be harmed by its companions. Certain national regulations require cats or dogs to be crated individually unless the consignment is a litter over 8 weeks with the mother.
For pet animals, a familiar article in the container helps to placate the animal. Animal@acute;s name must be marked on the outside of the container.
Animals do not normally require additional feeding during 12
hours following the time of dispatch. Water must be provided
if totally journey time exceeds 12 hours. Care must be taken
not to overfill the container.
If feeding is required due to an unforeseen delay, meat, biscuits and canned pet food must be provided but care must be taken not to overfeed.
Containers of young animals of the same species may be
loaded adjacent to each other. Containers with cats and
containers with dogs must be kept apart, unless they are
used to cohabiting. Care must be taken in loading different
breeds of dogs to prevent snapping and disturbing one
another and, in particular, where one animal is stronger
than the other, subjecting the weaker of the two to fear.
Accompanied dogs and cats that are transported in the aircraft hold must comply with these Regulations.
Warning 1: Snub-nosed dogs must be stowed as far away as practical from other loads to ensure they have the largest amount of air space available in the hold.
Warning 2: If it is necessary to open the box for any reason, this must always be done in an enclosed area in order to prevent the animals from escaping.
Animals in quarantine must be segregated from those which are not.