The Lung Association

The Lung Association

February 25, 2010 16:29 ET

Cat Allergies Declared a Disability for Air Travel

Canadian Lung Association urges airlines to ban pets from passenger cabins

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Feb. 25, 2010) - The Canadian Lung Association applauds the decision announced today by the Canadian Transportation Agency (CTA) that individuals with allergies to cats are persons with disabilities in the context of air travel. The agency found that the policies on the carriage of cats onboard Air Canada, Air Canada Jazz and WestJet impacted the ability of individuals with this condition to travel by air. The CTA is now seeking leave to examine the broader issue of whether all pets (dogs, cats, rabbits or birds) in the passenger cabin of airplanes constitute an obstacle to travel for those with asthma or severe pet allergies.

"This decision by the Canadian Transportation Agency is excellent news for those with asthma and allergies to pets," says Cameron Bishop, director of government affairs and media relations for the Canadian Lung Association. 

Since initiating this campaign in June 2009, The Canadian Lung Association has consistently called for pets of privilege to be banned from the passenger cabin of airplanes in order to protect the health of passengers and crew who have asthma or allergies to pets. Thousands of Canadians joined our online campaign throughout the summer resulting in a hearing last fall before the Standing Committee on Health on this important issue. While both major airlines failed to attend, Committee members were able to hear first-hand from experts, and individuals who suffer from asthma and pet allergies, about the danger posed to certain travelers by the existing policies of Air Canada and WestJet.

"It is our hope that Canada's airlines would take immediate steps to ban pets from the passenger cabin of airplanes – with service animals being exempted – to protect the health of passengers and crew with asthma. Failing that, once Parliament resumes, the Minister of Transport should move quickly to table legislation amending the Canadian Transportation Act to ban pets from the passenger cabins of airplanes, with service animals being exempted," says Bishop. 

For further information about the CTA decision, please visit

About The Lung Association

Established in 1900, The Canadian Lung Association is one of Canada's oldest and most respected health charities, and the leading national organization for science-based information, research, education, support programs and advocacy on lung heath issues.

Contact Information

  • Canadian Lung Association
    Cameron Bishop
    Director of Government Affairs and Media Relations
    613-569-6411, ext, 223