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Pressure on airlines to start transporting primates again as industry has problems finding airlines willing to fly monkeys destined for research.

07/03/2013

In the past few months, four key international carriers have stopped the transport of primates for research - Air Canada, Air China, China Eastern Airlines and Continental Airlines. This is having a major impact on the international trade in primates. In particular, laboratories in the USA and Canada are trying hard to secure new airlines willing to become involved in this cruel business or persuade others to lift their embargo. 

On 1st March, China Eastern Airlines announced a suspension to the transportation of primates for research purposes. Until then, China Eastern had been one of the main airlines transporting primates from China for research purposes to the USA. 

According to a tip-off received by the BUAV, Hainan Airlines has been asked to transport primates from China to Toronto in Canada and Seattle in the USA for research purposes. In February 2012, following a BUAV campaign, Hainan Airlines announced that it would no longer be involved in the transportation of primates for the research industry. However, we understand  that Hainan Airlines is now reconsidering its position but is concerned about bad publicity and has requested that any future involvement remains confidential. We have also been told that China Southern Airlines has been approached regarding its position on transporting primates to the USA. Last year, the airline announced it would suspend transporting primates to Los Angeles Airport. 

It is important for Hainan Airlines and China Southern Airlines to know the strength of public feeling on this issue. Please ask both airlines to keep their primate shipment embargo and not change their stance on this important issue. Please write polite emails/letters to: 

Contact details for Hainan Airlines regional offices

Contact details for China Southern Airlines.

For further information on the BUAV Cargo Cruelty Campaign.

The international trade in primates for research is a global industry that involves misery, suffering and death on a massive scale. The capture and confinement of such primates causes anxiety and stress. Transportation by air serves only to exacerbate these problems and contributes to further suffering. 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 delays, inadequate ventilation, noise and extreme temperature fluctuations as they are shipped on extremely long journeys to research laboratories across the world. 

Other major airlines to have stopped transporting primates for research include British Airways, United Airlines, Northwest Airlines, South African Airways, Delta Airlines, Eva Air, China Airlines, American Airlines and Caribbean Airlines. There is now only a small number of passenger airlines that continues to be involved in this grim business.