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This week, an Adelaide rail passenger was spotted with a snake on a suburban train — apparently in breach of transport regulations.
The photo posted on a popular social media site showed the man holding what appears to be a python.
Across Australia, there are different regulations about what kinds of pets you can take onboard public transport.
Some require pet owners to seek permission, and ensure their animals do not pose a threat, while others have imposed blanket bans on anything other than assistance dogs.
In the case of the snake, the incident was not flagged with police.
The Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure (DPTI) said the man had not sought approval to bring his serpent on the train.
"We are not aware of this person carrying a snake onboard a train," it said in a statement.
Knowing which pets are allowed onto public transport, however, is not always an easy task because of differences between state laws.
What do the biggest states do?Some states are more flexible than others when it comes to letting animals, especially pet dogs, travel on public transport.
There is little, if any, mention of snakes — although that might be because reptile ownership is subject to separate state regulations.
In New South Wales, pets are allowed to travel on buses, ferries, in taxis and on trams provided they are stored in boxes, baskets or other containers — and permission is given by staff or the driver.
"Animals that are not clean, appear vicious or likely to annoy, threaten or inconvenience other customers will not be allowed," Transport for NSW states on its website.
But people requiring assistance animals do not have to seek prior approval.
"Assistance animals with valid accreditation can travel free on all metro, NSW train, bus, ferry, light rail, taxi, private bus and private ferry services," regulations state.
That includes guide dogs, but also dogs for people with hearing impairments and those which help people with mental health conditions.
Police dogs and sniffer dogs are also allowed onto public transport.
Victorian regulations are similar, allowing small animals in "suitable" containers onto metropolitan trains, trams and buses — but bigger dogs do not necessarily have to be caged.
"Dogs can travel with you on trains, as long as they're on a lead and wearing a muzzle," Public Transport Victoria's website states.
Commuters with dogs are advised to avoid peak hours and to "clean up any mess your dog makes".
This article first appeared on www.abc.net.au
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