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Saturday, December 3, 2016

Mexican airlines launch campaign for dog missing from its custody !

A bailment is a legal relationship related to physical possession of property. It arises where one party (the bailee) is given /  takes custody of goods belonging to another (the bailor). The bailee/bailor relationship creates independent rights and obligations to both the parties. In  bailment, the property of one person temporarily goes into the possession of another. The ownership of the property remains with the giver, while only the possession goes to another. Several situations in day to day life such as giving a vehicle for repair, or parking a scooter in a parking lot, giving a cloth to a tailor for stitching, are examples of bailment. Section 148 of Indian Contract Act 1872, defines bailment – the primary duty of the bailor is of course, safe upkeep and return on agreed terms.

Marine Insurance is all about insuring cargo from one place to another – the subject matter can be commodity and at times lives also.  In India, as per the Customs rules, a pet cannot be carried or imported into the country in a plane’s cabin unless it is accompanying a disabled passenger or is being flown due to transfer of residence.  Due clearances from the vets and a licence from wildlife, import and trade authorities in India are supposed to be carried before a pet is allowed carriage on an aircraft. Some  Airways also specifies that a pet can be flown only in the cargo hold.  Live pet in the cabin is not allowed unless it is a service animal accompanying a disabled person. 

Understand that in US, airlines that allow pets on planes have to follow strict federal guidelines. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) follows standards set by the Animal Welfare Act. Some of the rules for travelling pets are :
•          Dogs and cats must be at least eight weeks old.
•          Dogs and cats must have been weaned for at least five days.
•          Shipping containers must meet specific standards in regards to weight, size, strength, ventilation and sanitation.
•          Dogs and cats can't be dropped off more than four hours before the plane's departure unless the owner makes shipping arrangements in advance.
•          Animals can't be exposed to temperatures lower than 45 degrees Fahrenheit (7.2 degrees Celsius) without veterinarian approval.

Here is something interesting on Mexican Airline Interjet, launching a campaign dubbed #BuscandoMika.  MailOnline reports that Mexican airline Interjet has launched a campaign dubbed #BuscandoMika (FindMika) after an eight-year-old mixed-breed female dog apparently escaped her cage and got lost at Mexico City's airport. The airline posted photos of the search effort and flyers with a picture of Mika with a pink neckerchief around her neck. The flyer offerd a 5,000-peso ($250) reward.

Traveler Pamela Alvarez, who lives in Houston, put appeals on social media sites saying the airline didn't inform her until she got to Houston that the dog escaped when the cage fell. She said on a Facebook post: 'They told me that the dog didn't make it. That they dropped the crate and it ran away.' She and her husband returned to Mexico City to hunt for the dog.

Interjet said in a statement that it understands pets are important to their owners.  It is the primary responsibility of the Carrier to deliver the goods in good condition and failure would attract monetary compensation, However, Airlines limit their liability for loss, delay, or damage to baggage to the minimum required by the Air Carriage Act / convention to which they are part of.  There is provision in Air carriage to declare the value, pay higher freight and get compensated for the declared value, in case of loss or damage.  Perhaps a dog carried in cabin, could be a hand cargo (baggage), while one entrusted to Airlines could be treated as shipped cargo. The liability limits could differ accordingly.

To conclude, under section 77-A of the Indian Railway Act, the liability of Railways as carriers of animals is limited as provided for in the schedule, unless the sender elects to pay the percentage charge on value as shown in the Rule 1301: Per Head:  Elephants Rs.1500/- Horses Rs.750/- Mules, Camels or Horned Cattle Rs.200/- Donkeys, sheep, goats, dogs and other animals or birds Rs.30/-

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

30th Nov. 2016.

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