Transportation services giant United Transportation Services said it will conduct a probe into how the company uses animals in its operations, including for transportation of passengers, and will take any legal action necessary to stop.
United says it does not use animals for transportation in the United States.
The company did not immediately respond to requests for comment on Wednesday.
The Federal Aviation Administration said it was aware of the allegations and has launched an investigation.
The FAA did not have a timetable for the agency to announce an enforcement action.
The investigation will likely be the first of its kind in the world, the agency said in a statement on Wednesday afternoon.
“United has taken swift and decisive action to address this situation, and we expect the FAA to take appropriate action,” United said.
United CEO Oscar Munoz said he was “deeply saddened” by the allegations.
“We have a zero-tolerance policy in place for any animal abuse,” Munoz wrote in a company blog post.
As CEO, it is my responsibility to make sure our animals are treated with respect and compassion.”