Australia’s first dog Toto has likely accompanied his owner Anthony Albanese onboard VIP flights numerous times since he became Prime Minister, but just how often remains unknown.

In a probe by Nationals senator Bridget McKenzie during estimates on Wednesday, the air force was asked to cough up answers about whether Toto had flown alongside Mr Albanese on any of the special purpose aircraft flights he’d taken since assuming office last May.

“Could you provide a list of all flights since the 21st of May 2022 on which animals – and specifically an animal called Toto – have been permitted on-board special purpose aircraft?” she asked.

But she struck a dead end when Air Marshal Robert Chipman conceded the air force didn’t keep data about animals on special purpose aircraft flights.

“I am aware that there is a history of VIPs travelling with pets on VIP aircraft,” he said.

“(But) we do not keep comprehensive records of when animals travel on VIP aircraft.”

He conceded he knew there were no requirements to “specifically manifest pets or items of luggage”.

Toto regularly appears in Mr Albanese’s photo opportunities at both Kirribilli House in Sydney and the Lodge in Canberra.

Senator McKenzie also sought answers over whether or not animals accompanying VIPs on board special purpose aircraft flights had to be restrained in cages or be muzzled.

Air Marshall Chipman said the only requirement was for animals to be restrained in “some sort of harness”.

He added that ultimately, animals remained the responsibility of their owners.

Read related topics:Anthony Albanese


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By Rahul

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