Eastern Railway issued a notice on March 21, reminding passengers about rules of travelling with pet dogs.
The rules state that pet owners must book an entire coupe or cabin in AC First Class, only one dog will be allowed per PNR and in case a fellow passenger raises an objection the dog will be transferred to the guard’s van.
Pet owners were left confused by the circular as most of the rules are old, but railway officials said they wanted to reiterate the rules to ensure that passengers abide by them.
The dog must be brought to the luggage office for booking at least 3 hours in advance
“At first, I was a bit confused because all these rules have been there for years. Hundreds of people who travel with their pets have been doing the same. I don’t understand the reason behind this notice now,” said Amir Islam, the owner of Carry My Pets, a pet transport agency.
As in the past, the dog must be brought to the luggage office for booking at least three hours before the departure of the train with a fitness certificate from a vet. “I usually travel across the country with my dogs five to six times every year to attend dog shows. Every time, I have done exactly these things. Along with that, I would have to make sure that my dog is free of internal and external parasites. So, when I first saw the notice on Tuesday, I was confused why the same set of rules with almost no change have been put up once again,” said Somesubhra De, an ethical dog breeder.
Pet owners must book an entire coupe or cabin in AC First Class
Pallab Raj Ghoshal, a New Town-based businessman, is planning a trip to Shimla next month with his two-year-old cocker spaniel Muffin. “This is the third time we are taking Muffin on holiday by train and I know the travelling rules by heart. The new set of rules is no different than the earlier ones and, at first, I was really confused. However, as these rules have been put up, there will be no room for confusion,” said Ghoshal.
Eastern Railway officials said the idea was to clear things out. “Often, people call and mail us to know about the procedure for travelling with pets. After this, there would be no confusion,” said the official.
Only one dog will be allowed per Passenger Name Record (PNR)
- The passenger must book accommodation in AC-First Class or First Class in 2-berth Coupe or 4-berth Cabin exclusively so that the passenger(s) can travel along with the pet dog. It may be noted that passengers not in possession of AC-First Class/First Class Cabin/Coupe tickets are not permitted to carry their pet dogs along with them during the journey. Pet dogs are not allowed to be carried in any other class of accommodation other than AC-First Class and First Class.
- Only one dog will be allowed per Passenger Name Record (PNR).
- The dog must be brought to the luggage office for booking at least 3 hours in advance of the departure of the train, whether the passenger holds a PRS ticket or an online ticket booked through IRCTC.
- Prescribed charges in luggage rates as applicable will be collected for the pet dogs to be carried along with the passenger in AC First Class/First Class coupe
- Dogs are not allowed to be carried in AC 2-tier, AC 3-tier, AC Chair Car, Sleeper Class and Second-Class Compartments.
- If fellow passengers object to the dog remaining in the compartment, it will be removed to the guard's van, no refund will be given.
- If a passenger is caught carrying dogs without proper booking, a penalty will be levied. The dog's owner will be charged at six times Scale-L luggage rates subject to a minimum of Rs 30 by Indian Railways.
- Doctor’s certificate clearly mentioning the breed, colour and gender of the pet dog is mandatory for booking.
- Passengers will be solely responsible for the safe carriage of dogs. Owners should make their own arrangements for water and food for the dog during the journey.