Strætó BS has received approval from the Ministry for the Environment for a pilot project allowing pets on public buses, RÚV reports. In order to launch the project, Strætó requires an exemption from hygiene regulations, which it requested from the ministry in February of last year. The application was approved on January 22nd, subject to certain conditions. Next steps will be decided at a Strætó meeting to be held tomorrow.
The project proposes a period of one year when passengers in the capital area could travel on buses with dogs, cats, rodents, birds, rabbits, frogs, fish, reptiles, and insects, as long as the animals may legally be kept as pets in the country.
The Ministry consulted local authorities including the Directorate of Health and the Icelandic Food and Veterinary Authority, all of whom were supportive of the idea or did not oppose it. The Icelandic Asthma and Allergy Association did, however, oppose the idea.
The ministry has stipulated various conditions if the project goes ahead. All animals would need to be caged, except dogs which may be on a leash. Animals would be kept at the back of the bus and would enter and exit through the back door, after the passenger has paid at the front. In addition, buses must be submitted to a thorough daily cleaning. Pets would remain banned on buses between 7-9 o’clock in the morning and 3-6 o’clock in the afternoon. Other conditions would also apply.