Delta continues to further restrict its service animal policies, adding another rule that will ban passengers from bringing any emotional support animals on flights longer than eight hours.

The newest policy will also affect any service or support animals younger than 4 months old, regardless of the flight length, starting Dec. 18.

“We will continue to review and enhance our policies and procedures as health and safety are core values at Delta,” said John Laughter, senior vice president of corporate safety, security and compliance. “These updates support Delta's commitment to safety and also protect the rights of customers with documented needs – such as veterans with disabilities – to travel with trained service and support animals.”

Delta Air Lines Inc. (NYSE: DAL), which first altered its service and support animal policy in March, said in a news release Monday that these new updates are the result of an 84 percent increase in reported incidents involving service and support animals since 2016, including urination and defecation, biting and an attack by a 70-pound dog.

The Atlanta-based carrier, which transports nearly 700 service or support animals daily, argues the new policy is consistent with the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Air Carrier Access Act.

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