LONDON – EGYPTAIR has informed PETA U.S. that it is no longer in the business of transporting monkeys from Africa and Asia to laboratories in the U.S. and elsewhere.
This week’s announcement by animal rights group PETA is a positive result which has followed a three-month intensive campaign by the group to raise awareness across the aviation sector.
PETA have staged protests in the U.S. at John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) in New York and Dulles International Airport in Washington, D.C. The protest events were also held at the key European airports of Frankfurt, London, Manila, and Paris.
The group ‘s campaign also included e-mails from more than 100,000 supporters of PETA entities; hundreds of phone calls; and online advertisements. PETA Asia also sent T-shirts and coffee mugs – emblazoned with artwork calling on the airline to stop cruel monkey shipments – to EGYPTAIR’s executives and sent an open letter to its CEO to company employees.
In concert with the PETA-led campaign, other organizations, including Action for Primates in the U.K., Stop Camarles in Spain, and One Voice in France, also campaigned to end the shipments.
PETA management statement
“EGYPTAIR’s decision will prevent thousands of monkeys from being ripped from their families, shoved into tiny boxes, and shipped around the globe to endure misery and death in laboratories,” says PETA Vice President Dr. Alka Chandna. “Any other airline considering getting into this trade should think again—PETA is watching.”
Airlines move to end transportation
In January, Kenya Airways announced it was ending its transport of monkeys to laboratories just 24 hours after discussions with PETA, and in June, Air France banned the practice after a decade-long campaign by PETA.
Prior to the recent decision by EGYPTAIR to follow suit and terminate such uplifts, airline industry insiders had alerted PETA to a shipment of 720 macaques flown by EGYPTAIR from Cambodia to JFK on April 30.
Records show that the airline has flown 5,000 monkeys into the U.S. since March this year.
Animal cruelty & the trade in wildlife
The macaque wildlife trade is steeped in violence and disease. A vast monkey-abduction pipeline has been funnelling hundreds of thousands of wild-caught monkeys into the U.S.
One species of monkey transported by EGYPTAIR was the long-tailed macaque. Last month, the International Union for Conservation of Nature upgraded the conservation status of long-tailed and pig-tailed macaques from “vulnerable” to “endangered.”
The exploitation of these once-plentiful species as part of the international wildlife trade involving experimenters in the U.S. is a major factor in their dramatic population crash.
PETA notes that the National Institutes of Health and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) admit that 95% of all new drugs that test safe and effective in animals are either unsafe or ineffective in humans.
PETA scientists’ Research Modernization Deal provides a strategy for replacing animals with modern, human-relevant research methods.
The group supports the FDA Modernization Act, which would eliminate the agency’s mandate to require tests on animals in drug testing.
The recent decision by EGYPTAIR to refrain from carrying research animals is a further victory for animal rights. In general, airlines and commercial carriers have increasingly refused to fly research animals.
This follows more than 2 decades of pressure from animal rights groups, NGOs and the general public. Campaigns first began in the United Kingdom in the 1990s, with protests at airports against the transport of monkeys and other nonhuman primates.
PETA began its own awareness campaigns in the United States about 8 years ago.