Posted Mon 20 Feb 2023 at 09:00am
With 69% of Australian households owning a pet, are the rules regarding pet-friendly transport in Australia outdated?
Pet ownership in Australia has skyrocketed over the past three years, yet policies regarding pet-friendly transport in Australia have remained the same. With countries like the USA and the UK successfully making public transport accessible for a man’s best friend, there is an ever-growing push for Australia to follow suit. But it’s not just pet parents who favour the change. Some of NSW’s government parties have voiced the need to make public transport more pet-friendly ahead of the upcoming state election.
Read on to discover the rules for travelling with pets on public transport in your state and the proposed pet-friendly transport plans in NSW.
Rules for Pets on Public Transport by State
The rules for pet-friendly transport are similar across Australia, with guide dogs and assistance animals permitted on all forms of transport, provided they have an assistance animal pass. States that do allow domestic pets on transport require pets to be on–lead and muzzled or in an animal container.
The following regulations do not apply to guide dogs or assistance animals.
- Pets are prohibited from travelling on trains, the metro or coaches
- Pets may be allowed on buses, ferries, light rails and taxis with permission from the driver. However, the pet must be in a carrier at all times
For more information visit, Transport NSW.
- Small animals are only permitted on trains, trams and buses in an animal container
- Dogs can travel on trains provided they’re on lead and wearing a muzzle
- Dog owners are also required to avoid travelling on weekdays between 7am and 9am or 4pm and 6pm
- Small animals are permitted on V/Line trains in a suitable animal container
Visit Public Transport Victoria for further details.
- Translink states that pet dogs can travel on Brisbane River ferries and CityCats between 8:30am and 3:30pm and 7 pm and 6am on weekdays, and all weekend
- Dogs travelling on ferries must be on-leash and wearing a muzzle or in a carrier
- According to Transport Canberra, domestic pets that are confined in a box, basket, or an appropriate pet container can travel on light rail vehicles and are permitted on the bus with the driver’s permission
- Pets are not permitted on any public transport in Western Australia
- Accredited service dogs are only allowed on public transport in the Northern Territory.
- Assistance animals and guide dogs can travel for free on all Adelaide Metro Services
- Pets are not permitted on any public transport in South Australia
- Pets are not allowed on any public transport in Tasmania.
Push For Pet-Friendly Transport In NSW
While the majority of Australian states are not planning to change their policies anytime soon, there has been a push by government parties in NSW to make public transport more pet-friendly.
Recently, Animal Justice Party MP Emma Hurst announced that it was time for NSW to change their policies regarding pets on public transport. The City of Sydney Councillor, Yvonne Weldon, also believes that these changes would greatly benefit those who have a lack of travel options.
Similarly, the NSW Greens has announced its plans to make public transport in NSW free and pet-friendly ahead of the upcoming state election in March. The party’s pet-friendly transport policy would require pets to be in a carrier, on-leash or muzzled. Pets would also only be permitted on transport outside of peak travel times and in the first and last non-quiet carriages of trains.
Should Pets Be Allowed on Public Transport?
The majority of Aussie pet owners are in favour of the change, with many taking to social media to express their thoughts.
“Pets have always been allowed on public transport in the U.K, so they definitely should be allowed”, said one dog owner.
Other puppy parents were in favour of changing the regulations but believe there needs to be safety precautions in place, with some suggesting that pets should take a behaviour test before travelling on public transport.
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