National Issues

UPDATE: Ask Airlines to Stop Transporting Primates to Research Labs

On March 21, 2014, China Southern Airlines announced that it would no longer transport live primates for laboratory experiments, effective March 21, 2014. The airline made its decision in response to a worldwide campaign by animal activists protesting against this cruel trade. Now only Air France continues as a transporter of live primates.

The international transportation of nonhuman primates for use in U.S. research facilities results in horrific conditions for the animals during long flights and in many deaths along the way. When the ordeal of the transport in cramped wooden crates in the cargo hold of airplanes is over, these animals are then subjected to harmful invasive experiments and may spend the rest of their lives in conditions not much better than their transport.

These monkeys come from breeding farms in China, Mauritius, Cambodia, Vietnam, Indonesia, and other countries, or are captured in the wild. According to People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), nearly 3,000 monkeys were imported by just one animal testing company, Shin Nippon Biomedical Laboratories (SNBL), where video provided by a whistleblower showed “sick, distraught monkeys suffering horribly from tests in which they were injected with experimental chemicals.”

Thousands of nonhuman primates are brought into the U.S. every year and they are transported as cargo by just a few airlines. A vast majority of airlines have refused to transport nonhuman primates, including American, Delta, Lufthansa, British Airways, Air China, Virgin Atlantic and many others. In December 2012, Air Canada announced that it would no longer transport nonhuman primates bound for use in research facilities, in large part because of the power of public opinion. In January 2013, United Airlines also announced that it would end its trafficking of nonhuman primates for use in laboratories. In March 2013, China Eastern also pledged to end transport of nonhuman primates, with Vietnam Airlines making a similar announcement in May 2013. In June 2013, Philippine Airlines released a statement indicating that the airline had discontinued the transport of wild, endangered, or threatened animals - regardless of their purpose. Now China Southern joins the ranks with their pledge to stop transporting primates in March 2014.

Now is the time to put pressure on the remaining airline that continue to transport nonhuman primates destined for use in laboratories—Air France—and urge them to stop this practice. Ask them to adopt policies against the transport of nonhuman primates bound for use in laboratories. Tell them that other major airlines, including American, Delta, Lufthansa, British Airways, Virgin Atlantic, Air China, Air Canada and many others have already abandoned this cruel practice.

Call to action:

    1. Please send a letter to Air France and tell them to stop transporting nonhuman primates destined for use in laboratories.
    2. Spread the word! Share this page with your social network.


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