Survey Explores Allowing Pets on China’s High-Speed Trains

by Alice

A new survey seeking public opinion on permitting pets to travel on China’s high-speed trains has sparked a lively debate. While some advocate for the benefits to pet owners, others raise concerns about hygiene and practicality.

Currently, pets are not allowed on high-speed trains, but the railway operator is exploring the possibility of permitting small pets under specific conditions.


The China Railway Customer Service Center recently launched the survey to gather passenger feedback. Travelers can scan a QR code on their seat to access the 12306 application, the official railway service platform, and answer 15 questions about “Pet Travel on High-Speed Trains.” The survey covers topics such as the necessity of pet transportation, types of pets, service frequency and pricing, protective measures, and suggestions from non-pet owners.


This survey has generated significant interest on the Sina Weibo social media platform, amassing over 1 million views by Monday.


“In recent years, we have received numerous inquiries about pet transportation on high-speed trains,” the center stated. “Based on survey feedback, we will further explore the feasibility of high-speed pet transportation and welcome public suggestions.”

Some netizens support the idea, highlighting the potential revenue and convenience for pet owners. For instance, a few years ago, a woman named Su faced challenges transporting her two cats from Jiangsu province to Beijing. She had to use a carpool service, costing 2,500 yuan ($350), which was over four times the price of a second-class bullet train ticket. The car journey took around 13 hours, compared to less than six hours by bullet train. Su struggled to find carpool providers willing to accommodate her cats and also considered other options like air and road transport.

“Cats are sensitive, like little babies. I can’t be at ease unless they are with me,” Su said, expressing optimism about the survey despite the practical challenges.

However, some, like Guo from Xiamen, Fujian province, prefer driving with their pets due to concerns about illness or accidents during transport.

In the United States and the United Kingdom, pets are allowed on certain train routes under specific conditions. In China, updated passenger train regulations implemented in July 2022 prohibit carrying live chickens and ducks, with exceptions for slower trains in less-developed regions.

With the expanding railway network, rail travel is increasingly popular in China. According to China State Railway Group, 3.68 billion trips were made last year.

As the demand for pet-friendly travel grows, ongoing discussions about pet policies on high-speed trains aim to find a balanced solution that meets the needs of both pet owners and other passengers.



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