Pet owners have set up a petition to try to persuade the owners of Eurostar to provide dog-friendly carriages on their trains.
Currently, no pets are allowed on Eurostar’s services. The only exception is guide dogs, which can travel with their owner.
The organisers of the petition, Pets in Pyjamas, need 100,000 signatures to have the matter discussed in parliament. A previous petition about the same matter was started late last year, but only 392 signatures were gathered. This time, the existence of the petition is being widely advertised to highlight the issue.
Exactly why Eurostar has never allowed pets to be carried on their trains is not clear. They have never provided an explanation, except to say that they currently do not take pets and have no immediate plans to do so.
Since the introduction of The Pet Travel Scheme (PETS) in 2001, thousands of UK pet owners have taken their non-human companions to foreign shores. The Channel Tunnel and the ferry companies all allow pets. Last year, P&O alone carried 19,478 dogs and cats. Even some airlines allow pets in their cabins.
You can travel on most other European trains with pets. In the UK, up to two dogs or other small pets can travel free of charge. However, they must be on a lead or in a box and cannot take up a seat. In France, you have to buy a ticket and muzzle your pet, but they are allowed on the trains.
In under a week, 238 people have signed the current petition, which closes to new signatures on 30th September, 2014.