The BUAV has today welcomed the news that Vietnam Airlines, one of the few remaining passenger airlines to fly primates to laboratories, has stated it will no longer transport primates for research from 1st May 2013. This new development was confirmed by a representative from Vietnam Airlines to the BUAV this morning and also by a spokesperson from the airlines in a statement made to BBC East Asia which said:
"Even though Vietnam Airlines has never been in breach of international regulations governing the transportation of live animals (such as IATA LAR, CITES), we decide to stop transporting primates destined for experimental purposes from May 1st, 2013. The relevant operation manual shall be deployed system-wide by Vietnam Airlines to ensure this decision".
A full public announcement is expected to be made by the airline early next week.
The BUAV has worked tirelessly to end the international transportation of primates for the research industry. Our hard-hitting investigations and research have uncovered cruelty and suffering inflicted on primates in laboratories, and during their trapping, farming and transport. We first exposed the role of Vietnam Airlines in transporting monkeys to laboratories in Europe in 2011. The airline was also transporting primates to France for a UK primate dealer.
Vietnam Airlines now joins the BUAV's growing list of airlines to take a stance against the cruel business of shipping primates around the world for experimentation. Other airlines include Air Canada, British Airways, United Airlines, Air China, Northwest Airlines, South African Airways, American Airlines, China Airlines, Eva Air and Delta Airlines.
Sarah Kite, Director of Special Projects at the BUAV stated: "We welcome this announcement by Vietnam Airlines. The airline joins an increasing number of airlines that have taken a stance and now refuse to transport primates for the research industry. This is an issue of strong public concern and we urge those remaining airlines, such as Air France, to reconsider their role in this cruel trade.”