Assistance dogs (UK) ID book
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Most guide and assistance dog owners in the UK who are trained by one of the recognised training organisations (that are members of Assistance Dogs UK) will have been issued with an Assistance Dogs (UK) branded ID book.
This ID book has been designed to support guide and assistance dog owners with their access to goods, facilities and services, as defined in the UK Equality Act 2010 or Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) 1995.
The ID book contains information about the owner and their dog and details of the (recognised) training organisation who trained the dog and its owner. It also has information about the law and the elements which support the rights of assistance dog owners and their dog, especially when accessing goods, facilities and services, including reference to the Equality Act 2010 and Disability Discrimination ACT 1995.
Under European Regulation (EC) No 1107/2006 concerning the rights of disabled persons and persons with reduced mobility when travelling by air, airlines are required to carry (recognised) assistance dogs in the cabin of aircraft.
There is no definition of 'recognised' under the law but airlines widely accept that assistance dogs are dogs that are trained by either the International Guide Dogs Federation or Assistance Dogs International member organisations, as defined by each representative organisation.
The UK National Enforcement Body (NEB), with regard to enforcement of EC regulation No 1107/2006, is the UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). The CAA is also responsible for regulation of cabin safety on UK registered aircraft, and places the following requirements on airlines in their safety notice of the 20th May 2015 (SN-2015/001: Carriage of Assistance Dogs in the Aircraft Cabin) with regard to the carriage of (recognised) guide and assistance dogs.
2.1 Regulation (EC) No. 1107/2006 does not define what is meant by 'recognised' assistance dogs. However, a definition is included in ECAC Doc 30 Section 5. This defines a 'recognised' assistance dog as one that has been trained to assist a disabled person by an organisation that is a member of Assistance Dogs International (ADI) and/or the International Guide Dog Federation (IGDF). These organisations can be found on the Assistance Dogs International website and/or the International Guide Dog Federation website; this includes guide dogs trained to provide mobility assistance to a blind or partially sighted person. Assistance dogs could be of any breed and size from a large Labrador to a miniature Yorkshire terrier.
2.2 Assistance dogs will also have been endorsed for their suitability for public access by the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health or Royal Environmental Health Institute of Scotland on the basis that the dog’s high standards of training, behaviour, health and welfare are such that it should be permitted to accompany its owner at all times and in all places within the United Kingdom.
2.3 An assistance dog trained by a member organisation of ADI and/or the IGDF will have formal identification. The Assistance Dogs (UK) branded ID book has been designed to support assistance dog owners with access to goods, facilities and services, as defined in the UK Equality Act 2010. Most UK owners of assistance dogs who have been trained by ADI or IGDF will have been issued with this book. It should be taken by airlines as sufficient documentary evidence of a dog being trained by one of these organisations. Other documentary evidence may have to be obtained from assistance dog owners who do not elect to have this form of ID, but have dogs trained by these organisations.
2.4 The assistance dog owners that have formal identification or other documentary evidence demonstrating that their dogs have been trained by organisations that are members of ADI and/or IGDF should be permitted to be carried in an aircraft passenger compartment with their dog, at no extra charge. Any dog not meeting the above criteria, or any other animal, must be treated as a pet and other arrangements must be made for its carriage.
To comply with these cabin safety requirements, airlines or their agents may request documentary evidence to establish that a guide or assistance dog is trained by a recognised training organisation.
UK guide and assistance dog training organisations, who are members of Assistance Dogs UK, will have issued identification books to their guide or assistance dog owners. These Assistance Dogs UK branded ID books with their yellow cover will provide airlines with sufficient information as to the legitimate ownership of a guide or assistance dog.
The following link can be used to download an example of the book as issued by the Guide Dogs for the Blind Association. Each AD (UK) training organisation will issue similar books, the main difference being the information provided by each organisation, about the dog and owner under the data seal on the front and back inside cover page.
Example ID book (PDF 8MB) as issued by Guide Dogs PDF.
This book does not constitute a right to fly, and other documentary evidence may have to be obtained from guide or assistance dog owners who do not elect to have this form of ID, but have dogs trained by the representative organisations.
The ID book should be considered by airlines as sufficient documentary evidence of a dog’s legitimacy as being trained by a recognised training organisation under the membership of Assistance Dogs (UK), as supported by the CAA and other aviation members of the International Travel Working Group for Recognised Assistance Dogs.
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