The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has launched a new global certification programme to improve the safety and welfare of animals travelling by air.
The Center of Excellence for Independent Validators in Live Animals Logistics (CEIV Live Animals) programme is designed to increase the level of competency, operations, quality management and professionalism in the handling and transportation of live animals in the airfreight industry while reinforcing training and compliance across the supply chain.
Independent validators will conduct training and onsite audits to ensure the animals’ safety and welfare when travelling by air across the world.
IATA senior vice president of airport, passenger, cargo and security, Nick Careen says animal owners and shippers rely heavily on airlines to carry the precious cargo, and the air cargo industry has a duty of care to ensure that standards are in place to protect the welfare of animals.
He says: “For those shipping live animals the CEIV Live Animals program will provide a reliable quality benchmark. Just as CEIV Pharma helped provide quality standards for temperature sensitive healthcare shipments, the new programme extends that expertise to the important field of transporting and handling of animals.”
Understanding the needs of stakeholders involved in the handling and transportation of animals was key to developing the programme, with Air Canada Cargo and the Heathrow Animal Reception Centre (HARC) playing a key role in the pilot programme.
In 2017 16,000 dogs and cats, 400 horses, 200,000 reptiles, 2,000 birds and 28 million fish travelled through the HARC.
HARC assistant director for port health and public protection, Robert Quest says: “Ensuring the safety and welfare of these animals is our main priority. So partnering with IATA to develop the CEIV Live Animals program was important to us. We look forward to continuing to work closely with IATA to further enhance the programme and support its worldwide adoption by companies across the supply chain in the pursuit of operational excellence in the handling and transport of live animals by air.”
Air Canada Cargo vice president, Tim Strauss says: “Ensuring that animals travel in safe, healthy and humane conditions requires coordination across the supply chain. Air Canada Cargo is delighted to be part of the CEIV Live Animals programme.”
CEIV Live Animals will focus on complying with the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) requirements including the CITES Guidelines for the Non-Air Transport of Live Wild Animals and Plants.