Suzanne Boda, American's Senior Vice President in Los Angeles, said in a video posted on the airline's website on Monday that the changes apply only to "support animals", and that the company's current policies regarding service animals would remain in place.
Miniature horses, meanwhile, remain okay, so long as they're properly trained as service animals.
"The ACAA (Air Carrier Access Act) actually has standards, for emotional support animals, they have standards for service dogs, and they have the right to remove that dog before they enter the flight", Pratt said. "Unfortunately, untrained animals can lead to safety issues for our team, our customers and working dogs onboard our aircraft".
Now, American Airlines has followed suit with stricter rules that bar emotional support goats, amphibians and ferrets from flights, along with some other unusual animals.
This means that the artist, Ventiko, who tried to bring an emotional service peacock onto a United Airlines flight earlier this year at Newark Liberty International Airport would have similar luck at American Airlines. "Emotional support animals are not fully task-trained". The airline said it would also be more active in contacting medical professionals to verify a passenger's request for an onboard comfort animal.
In developing the changes, the airline said it met with such organizations as the American Association of People with Disabilities, Paralyzed Veterans of America, American Council for the Blind and My Blind Spot.
Upon toughening its requirements in March, Delta reported an 84 percent hike in animal incidents since 2016, including the mauling of a passenger by a 50-pound dog on a flight from Atlanta to San Diego a year ago.
American will also train its employees on how better to distinguish a support animal from a pet.
"Only one emotional support animal may be held on the lap of a guest with the disability, provided that the animal is no larger than a two-year-old child", the airliner says.
Those who want to bring such an animal on board now have to file paperwork 48 hours before a flight, and there are new restrictions on which types of animals are permitted.