Cargo Handling

dnata ensures safe handling for animals at Brussels Airport

dnata ensures smooth and safe journeys for animal passengers in Brussels
dnata ensured the transportation of 6,500 animals at Brussels Airport throughout 2023-24 (Image credit: dnata)

Cargo handler dnata has ensured the safe transportation of more than 6,500 animals through its advanced Animal Care and Inspection Centre (ACIC) at Brussels Airport throughout 2023-24.

The ACIC, a “leading” 2000m² facility, is dedicated to the safe handling of live animals at Brussels.

The facility was awarded the IATA Centre of Excellence for Independent Validators (CEIV) in 2022 for its “industry-leading” live animal handling processes.

Stef van Binst, managing director of dnata Belgium, said: “We are proud to provide globally recognised, safe and reliable live animal handling services at Brussels, consistently delivering best-in-class services to our customers and owners who are naturally anxious of their pet’s wellbeing while travelling.

“In close co-operation with our partners and authorities, we will continue to invest in our operations and world-class facilities to ensure travel comfort for our animal guests.”

As household pets arrive into the ACIC for export six to eight hours ahead of planned departure, dnata’s team of handlers begin preparations for the animals’ safe transportation.

Professionals review paperwork, including proof of any required vaccinations based on the destination and animal type, before completing an IATA check list and performing all security checks.

Pets will then be invited into the ACIC stays with adjustable temperature and light controls to ensure comfort.

Dogs will be regularly walked throughout their time in the special export garden, including immediately before departure to the aircraft.

Meanwhile cats will provided with a litter box in their stay while awaiting departure.

A vet will be on hand if any animal shows symptoms of distress, and members of the team remain with the pets until loading into the aircraft is complete.

dnata’s top animal handling team is highly trained to ensure the comfort and safety of all animals, including domestic pets.

All staff are fully educated and updated in IATA’s Live Animals Regulations, the essential standard to transport animals in a safe and humane manner, which is applied to all shipments.

Along with permits to drive various airside vehicles, staff are trained to build up crates or boxes for larger animals, depending on the type of aircraft and the airline customer’s requirements.

Dogs are predictably the most popular pet to be handled at dnata’s ACIC facility, with over 1,000 canines safely passing through in 2023-24 – more than half of which were police dogs heading overseas.

Pet fish are also very popular visitors, with over 4,000 boxes of differing species imported.

Tarantula spiders and various reptiles including lizards, snakes and ghekkos are also delicately handled.

dnata currently provides service excellence at Brussels Airport with a team of 140 workers handling over 100,000 tonnes of cargo annually.