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Airlines Issue a One-Way Ticket to Hell

Written by Michelle Kretzer | December 6, 2011

Every year, more than 124,000 primates are tormented and killed in U.S. laboratories. Have you ever wondered how these intelligent and sensitive animals wind up in these hellholes in the first place?

Some primates are born in laboratories, forced to exist from cradle to grave as living “tools” exploited by experimenters who perform painful, invasive procedures on the animals, and then they’re tossed out like so much trash when the experimenters are done with them.

For tens of thousands of other primates, the journey begins thousands of miles away in Asia and Africa, where—at the behest of global animal testing multinationals like Charles River Laboratories and Covance—they are bred in cramped, squalid breeding mills or are trapped or netted in the wild. Ripped away from their families, the traumatized primates are shoved into cramped wooden crates and shipped in the noisy and terrifying cargo holds of planes, often with unsuspecting passengers just a few feet above them.

One of the worst drivers of the miserable primate trade is animal testing conglomerate Shin Nippon Biomedical Laboratories (SNBL), which brings nearly 3,000 primates into the U.S. each year for use in experimentation. Recent photos and video footage leaked to PETA by a whistleblower at an SNBL laboratory in Everett, Washington, show sick, distraught monkeys imprisoned in barren steel cages. The whistleblower reports that monkeys suffered untreated wounds from being stabbed repeatedly with needles to have blood drawn multiple times a day, and that workers handling the monkeys were so rough that they bloodied the animals’ noses and broke their fingers and toes.

Nearly every major airline—including Delta Airlines, Qantas, American Airlines, British Airways, Aer Lingus, Cathay Pacific, and dozens of others—have agreed not to transport primates to laboratories, but some, including Air Canada, Air China, Air France, China Eastern Airlines, China Southern Airlines, Philippine Airlines, and Vietnam Airlines—continue to profit off shipping primates to their deaths.

You can help primates by clicking here and telling these airlines that cruelty doesn’t fly with you and that it shouldn’t fly with them either.

Commenting is closed.
  • Genevieve says:

    Thank you so much for this atrcile, it saved me time!

  • Rev. Meg Schramm says:

    Thank you for giving me yet another reason not to travel via airlines! When people ask me why I refuse to fly, the list will sound something like this: 1. Animals doomed to be used for research purposes and shipped in the holds of some airlines along with the baggage. 2. Anti terrorism searches are too much of a hassle. 3. Some airlines force people traveling with their animal companions to make their animals travel in the hold, where they freeze to death. 4. What you pay to fly is not worth what you get in service. 5. I like road trips where my dog can travel with me and I can actually see the United States instead of flying over most of it.