News - Airlines

Passenger airlines exposed


The BUAV is today calling on all airlines to stop transporting primates for the research industry, following an investigation that reveals the shipping of monkeys by major passenger airlines for laboratories around the world, including those in the USA and UK. Secret film obtained by the BUAV shows rows of small crates, each containing a monkey, stacked on top of each other on cargo trolleys, waiting to be loaded into the holds of Air France and Vietnam Airlines aircraft.

Recent primate shipments uncovered by the BUAV include:

• Air France shipped 120 monkeys from Vietnam to the USA for Covance Research Products (May 2011). The airline also shipped 100 monkeys to France for the Centre de Primatologie (March 2011)

• Vietnam Airlines shipped 80 monkeys from Vietnam for Belgrave Services, a primate dealer in the UK (February 2011)

The international trade in primates for research inflicts great suffering on many thousands of monkeys every year. Airlines play a key role in this chain of misery by transporting monkeys from supply facilities in countries such as Vietnam, Barbados, St Kitts, Mauritius, China and Cambodia, often on extremely long journeys to laboratories around the world where they will suffer and most will die in experiments. The monkeys, some of whom are caught in the wild, are torn from their family groups, packed into small wooden crates and travel as cargo, predominantly on passenger air flights.

The BUAV has been influential in persuading an increasing number of airlines to take a stance to dissociate themselves from this cruelty. Airlines that do not transport primates for research include British Airways United Airlines, Virgin Atlantic, Northwest Airlines, Qantas Airways, South African Airways, Delta Airlines, Qatar Airways, Eva Air and China Airlines.

There are now only a small number of passenger airlines that continue to be involved in this ugly business. These include Air Canada which flies monkeys from countries such as China to laboratories in Canada, and China Southern Airlines and China Eastern Airlines, which fly monkeys from SE Asia to the USA.

Sarah Kite, BUAV Director of Special Projects said: “Passengers will be shocked to learn that monkeys, destined to suffer and die in laboratories, are imprisoned in crates inside the cargo hold on their flight, literally below their feet. The BUAV is calling on all airlines to refuse to be part of this chain of misery. We urge people to not book flights with any airline that transports monkeys destined for the research industry and let the airlines know why.”

For a list of those airlines which DO and DO NOT transport primates, please click here.