VICTORY: Airline Stops Flying Monkeys to Laboratories

VICTORY UPDATE: After intensive campaigning by PETA and tens of thousands of activists who sent e-mails, Air Transport Services Group (ATSG) has told PETA that it is ending the transport of monkeys to laboratories! This announcement comes one week after PETA urged Amazon—which recently partnered with ATSG—to ask the air carrier to end this cruel practice.

For too long, international air carriers have provided U.S. laboratories with a means of  importing monkeys from countries like China, where animals have no protection and are either torn away from their homes and families in the wild or bred on squalid factory farms. ATSG and its subsidiaries—Air Transport International (ATI) and ABX Air—have shipped thousands of monkeys to laboratories in the U.S., where they are frequently imprisoned, cut into, poisoned, crippled, deprived of food and water, addicted to drugs, infected with deadly diseases, and killed. During these transports, ATI was cited for repeatedly failing to meet even minimal animal care standards after monkeys were transported on long flights without food and water and in their own waste. The airline is currently under investigation by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

PETA and our supporters have persuaded nearly every major airline in the world—including Air China, China Eastern Airlines, China Southern Airlines, Philippine Airlines, and United Airlines—to stop transporting monkeys to laboratories. Air France is now the last airline that continues to participate in this bloody business.

Macaque© iStock.com/Patrick Gijsbers

In March 2016, Amazon announced that it is partnering with and bought a major share of Air Transport Services Group (ATSG), a cargo airline group whose subsidiaries ship thousands of monkeys each year to laboratories in the U.S., where animals are imprisoned, cut open, poisoned, crippled, deprived of food and water, addicted to drugs, infected with deadly diseases, and killed.

In 2014 alone, one of ATSG’s subsidiaries, Air Transport International (ATI), was cited for numerous repeated violations of the Animal Welfare Act, including not providing monkeys with food or water for more than 32 hours during a long flight from China to Texas. Inspectors also cited the company because they discovered that waste had pooled in the bottom of the monkeys’ wooden crates and was leaking out and that a monkey had sustained lacerations to his face during transport because of sharp metal protruding into his crate. ATI was also cited for transporting thousands of monkeys without a federal license.

PETA has appealed to Amazon to urge ATSG’s subsidiaries to get out of this violent business. Please join us in asking Amazon to encourage ATSG to join nearly every airline in the world—including other cargo airlines such as UPS, DHL, and FedEx—in refusing to transport monkeys to laboratories!

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“Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights?” READ MORE

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind