The Transportation Security Administration has asked the National Transportation Safety Board to investigate whether Florida Gov.
Rick Scott and Louisiana Gov.
John Bel Edwards were negligent when they failed to secure the vehicles of an unknown number of pet owners who were traveling with the state’s new pet transport system.
Scott and Edwards, two of the country’s most prominent Republican governors, did not respond to requests for comment.
The agency said the investigation was ongoing and would determine whether the governors have acted with “gross negligence.”
“If a pet is in a vehicle that has been secured and is not otherwise in the custody of the Transportation Security Agency, a violation is punishable by a fine of up to $2,500 and up to three years in prison,” the TSA said in a statement.
In its letter to the NTSB, the TSA argued that it has “strong oversight authority” to investigate such matters and that it “takes a proactive and proactive approach to protecting the health and safety of our passengers.”
“It is our policy to investigate, cooperate with and resolve any matters that require it,” TSA spokesman Kevin Burke said in an email.
“The agency has strong oversight authority, and we will use that authority to conduct a thorough and thorough investigation.”
The NTSC is investigating complaints that a new pet-transport system in Florida is failing to screen passengers and pets and is encouraging people to bring their pets into the system instead.
The system, known as PX2, was announced in October and will be installed on airport terminals by the end of March.
PX2 is a hybrid system that includes a dog walker and a pet-carrying security officer, along with a security barrier that can be easily lowered or raised.
The barrier is also designed to stop animals that could get into vehicles, as well as dogs and cats.
Officials say the new system will help protect travelers who travel with pets from possible attacks.
“We have been working closely with pet owners to provide a safe environment for them to exercise their animals, as they travel with us,” TSA spokesperson Kevin Burke wrote in a Tuesday email.
“While this system will be used by some of our customers and will require some additional steps to install, it is in the best interest of all passengers and our employees to have the system implemented in Florida.”
As part of the new pet carrier system, the Transportation Department is providing training for security officers, along the lines of the federal National Dog Handler Certification Program.
The training is designed to help pet owners get their dogs trained to be safe.
“We’re going to work closely with the TSA, TSA-PWD, and the Florida PWD and pet owners,” Burke said.
“And we are going to do this with the knowledge and understanding that it will take time for them [pet owners] to become confident in this system.”
Burke added that the TSA will also “develop training programs that will help pet parents train their dogs for pet travel.”
“We’ve done that for the last two years, and it’s been very effective,” he said.
Burk said the TSA is working with Florida’s two pet-care agencies, the Florida Department of Health and the State Department of Agriculture to provide pet carriers and dogs with vaccinations and other care.
“There will be an ongoing process to evaluate how the pet carrier program will work and how we can continue to work with the pet carriers in Florida,” Burke wrote.
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