Home > activism > Airlines refuse to transport primates for research following public outcry

Airlines refuse to transport primates for research following public outcry

Campaigners call on remaining ‘cargo cruelty’ carriers to put ethics before profits
The BUAV has today applauded those airlines that have responded to public concern and stopped transporting primates destined for the research industry. An extensive analysis carried out by the animal protection organisation as part of its promotion of cruelty-free consumer choice has revealed that major airlines including US Airways and Eva Air have pulled out of the business while some of the world’s largest airlines, includingUnited Airlines, Virgin Atlantic, British Airways, Northwest Airlines, Qantas Airways, South African Airways, Delta Airlines and China Airlines have re-confirmed their commitment to eliminating ‘cargo cruelty’ by opting out of carrying non-human primates as freight for the research industry.
The BUAV has led the international campaign calling on airlines to stop taking part in this cruel trade. Information gathered from investigations, research and correspondence with airlines has enabled it to analyse the position of airlines and publish a comprehensive ‘Cargo Cruelty’ list.
The international trade in primates for research is a global industry that involves misery, suffering and sometimes death for the animals involved. Many monkeys are trapped in the wild and then isolated from their family groups and native habitats in countries such as Mauritius, Tanzania, Barbados and Guyana. Others are bred in captivity, usually under factory farmed conditions, in countries including the Philippines, Indonesia, China, Vietnam, the USA and Israel. The capture and confinement of such primates causes anxiety and stress which not only results in suffering, but can also lead to infection and the onset of disease. Further, a recent conservation report* highlighted that many primate groups in Asia and South-East Asia are at a growing risk of extinction.
Air transportation contributes to further suffering, even death. Primates destined for the research industry are packed into small wooden crates (usually too small to allow them to stand up) and travel as cargo, predominantly on passenger air flights, to destinations around the world. In addition to the cramped conditions, the monkeys may have to endure inadequate ventilation, noise and extreme temperature fluctuations as they are shipped on extremely long journeys to research laboratories globally.
The primate research industry is now dependent on a dwindling number of airlines. Air
France, Philippine Airlines, American Airlines, Continental Airlines, BWIA, China Eastern and China Southern Airlines and Korean Air are some of the airlines that have shipped thousands of primates, some trapped in the wild, to destinations around the world, during 2007-2008. Examples include:
· Air France transported wild caught macaques from Mauritius and captive bred macaques from Vietnam to the USA.
· China Eastern and China Southern Airlines both transported thousands of macaques from China to the USA.
· BWIA transported African green monkeys from Barbados and capuchins and tamarinds from Guyana. All had been captured in the wild.
· Philippine Airlines transported macaques from Indonesia to the USA.
· Both American Airlines and Continental Airlines have transported primates from the USA to Europe.
BUAV chief executive Michelle Thew said: “The BUAV welcomes the increasing    number of airlines that have taken a stance and now refuse to transport primates for the   research industry. We now urge those remaining airlines to reconsider their role in this cruel trade.”
The BUAV has received many supportive messages of support from airlines who want to dissociate themselves from the cruelty and suffering caused by the international trade in primates, including:
Malaysia Airlines: “Indeed, we would want to be in the list of airlines in the fight against international trade in primates destined for the research industry.”
TAP Portugal: “We wish your campaign to be successful and that the list of airlines rejecting transportation of these animals grows more and more.”
China Airlines: “On behalf of China Airlines, we would like to extend our appreciation on your dedication to protect the life of primates from unnatural human interference.”
United Airlines: “Please know that we do not support the transportation of non-human primates and we would be happy to be placed on the list that bans this practice.”
  1. October 12, 2008 at 12:18 pm

    Dear Compassionate Airlnes
    I was so pleased to read my latest BUAV newsletter & see all the Airlines that are refusing to transport non-human PRIMATES to suffer imprisionment & torture !! I live 5 mins. from Gatwick Airport & OFTEN travel on Aeroplanes (also friends & relatives stay with us before going on Holidays ) so I will give them your list & advise them only to go with you THANKYOU SO MUCH. Member of RSPCA-BUAV-DR.HADWEN-CIWF etc. also HORLEY TOWN COUNCILLOR Sonia Rundle Odds

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