New regulations from the Department of Justice may at last curb demands that business owners admit an ever wider array of designated service animals as an accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act. ABA Journal:
Proposed revisions published in the Federal Register (PDF) would exclude not only snakes and other reptiles, but rabbits, farm animals, amphibians, ferrets, rodents and wild animals including monkeys born in captivity, according to the newspaper. They would also eliminate from the definition of service animal creatures who simply provide emotional support, comfort or companionship.
That would be a most unwelcome development to a Shelton, Wash. man who has gotten into conflicts with store and restaurant managers by bringing onto the premises the boa constrictor that he says helps alert him to impending seizures. Seattle Times:
The species are so varied that the Department of Transportation (DOT) mentioned some by name: spiders, for example, in regulations banning them from flying in aircraft cabins.
That the DOT mentioned spiders by name “means somewhere along the line, somebody brought … a service spider on the aircraft,” wrote Candy Harrington, editor of Emerging Horizons, a magazine for disabled travelers, in her blog.
The Department has received thousands of letters supporting the animal owners’ case, though. More on service animals here.