How fake assistance animal users are gaming the system

18 Apr 2018

Reports recently emerged of accusations against Uber drivers in the United Kingdom regularly refusing to take a cerebral palsy sufferer as a passenger because of her service dog.

This follows a number of reports pointing to the growth of fake disability assistance animal documentation. Our 2016 workshop found documentation fraud also occurs in Australia.

These issues highlight the confusion around the distinction between pets and disability assistance animals. Our recent research shows that, amid the confusion, faking and gaming also occur regularly, and there is a lack of understanding of when an animal is and is not legally protected.

TC Beirne School of Law's Dr Paul Harpur, School of Psychology's Nancy Pachana and Professor of Innovation Martie-Louise Verreynne write for The Conversation

They say urgent legal and policy attention is required to promote greater awareness in dealing with a person who is accompanied by an animal.

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