Australia: CityCats gone to the dogs? Council pushes for pets to be allowed on water transport - PressFrom - Australia
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AustraliaCityCats gone to the dogs? Council pushes for pets to be allowed on water transport

00:16  12 august  2019
00:16  12 august  2019 Source:   brisbanetimes.com.au

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CityCats gone to the dogs? Council pushes for pets to be allowed on water transport© Tony Moore Todd Simpson and his King Charles spaniel Daisy would love to travel on Brisbane's CityCats. Brisbane pet owners would be allowed to take their beloved dogs and some other pets on the CityCats and ferries under a renewed push from the city council.

South-east Queensland public transport agency TransLink bans pets on CityCats and ferries under the Transport Operations Act 1994.

After Tuesday’s full meeting, Brisbane City Council will write to TransLink and again ask permission for pooches to travel on the 'Cats.

The council operates the CityCats and ferries but must observe TransLink's pet ban under the legislation.

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Deputy Mayor Krista Adams revealed the pet travel proposal earlier this week at a council committee meeting after a petitioner asked the council to reconsider letting pets ride on the river.

“I personally think it would be nice to have animals on the CityCats, but they would need muzzles,” Cr Adams said.

“I’m familiar with North Stradbroke Island where dogs can go on the water ferries.

“I think it is the same type of thing.

“But they have to have a muzzle.”

The council committee meeting heard modern-day soft muzzles could be used by pet lovers.

Cr Adams said the council would write to TransLink and ask that pets - mostly dogs on leads - to be allowed on CityCats and ferries.

CityCats gone to the dogs? Council pushes for pets to be allowed on water transport© Tony Moore Steve Bakker with Bozo in Brisbane's Botanical Gardens. Dog lovers in the City Botanic Gardens were enthusiastic but acknowledged the change could be tricky.

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Taking pets abroad on holiday or to live - pet passports, PETS travel scheme, microchipping, rabies vaccinations, quarantine, travelling with assistance dogs . There are different rules for travelling with your pet to another country from the UK.

New Zealand Cat Foundation chairperson Anne Batley Burton said pets were part of people's families and this needed to be accepted by Auckland Council and the Government. Under current AT rules, no animals are allowed on the city 's buses and trains, but dogs and small animals in cages were

IT specialist Steve Bakker lives in the inner city on the 30th floor of an apartment building with his labradoodle Bozo. He works at South Brisbane.

“Bozo would love to go to work on the CityCat,” Mr Bakker said.

“Bozo has to walk to work at the Mater Hospital at South Brisbane and he would love to catch the CityCat home on a Friday night."

Not all dogs were well behaved, he acknowledged, but then "not all people are well behaved."

“It is a valid point to say it can be difficult because some dogs can be difficult to control," he said.

“But it is a subset of dogs that live in the inner city and I think they are used to being around people.”

Bozo would probably not like wearing a muzzle but if it was a condition of travel Mr Bakker imagined he could get used to it.

Car broker Todd Simpson also lives in the CBD. His dog, Daisy, flashed her eyes as he said the idea had plenty of merit.

“I think if it’s a well-behaved dog it should be fine,” Mr Simpson said.

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On airlines that permit pets to travel, only small dogs and cats that can fit in special carriers under the seat are allowed in the cabin. Their owners must care for them during any layovers. Some airlines may not allow them in the cabin and will transport them as cargo in a heated and ventilated hold.

“It would be good if they let dogs on the CityCats; that would be awesome.”

Some owners suggested dogs with their owners could be restricted to the back of the CityCats, away from people who were nervous of dogs.

Mr Simpson did not know dogs were not allowed on the ferries until he was asked about the proposal.

"I suppose the difficult part is if you make it law then someone will have 15 killer breeds and they want their dogs on,” he said.

“So is it going to create bigger problem?

“Does it bring out all the wild breeds and create more problems than it is worth?”

A TransLink spokesman said the organisation understand people wanted to be able to travel with their pets.

“There are practical reasons why TransLink does not allow pets on public transport,” He said, naming safety, hygiene and allergy problems were the top of the list of concerns.

“There is also space restrictions, particularly on peak services, and not all pets are well behaved or trained."

TransLink allows guide dogs on board and issues an assistance animal pass to their owners.

“We have no plans to change our policy, which is in line with many other states in Australia," the spokesman said.

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