Paris is the City of Love, but Air France’s annual meeting was full of anything but. PETA owns stock in Air France, so our proxy popped up during the annual meeting to let the other stockowners know that the company is the only major airline in the world that is still willing to accept blood money for shipping primates to be tortured and killed in experiments and ask when the practice will end—a question that was met by applause from the audience. That won’t exactly look good in the meeting minutes. And what was going on outside the meeting didn’t look good for the company, either, as PETA France supporters sat in cages to show Parisians what primates endure after Air France dumps them at laboratory hellholes.
© Jallal Seddiki
And PETA used shareholder activism tactics to work toward change at three other companies this month, too:
- The infamous Charles River Laboratories supplies one out of every two animals used in experimentation. PETA attended the company’s annual meeting and urged it to end all toxicity tests on animals, for which there are validated non-animal methods.
- A subsidiary of medical-device company Boston Scientific uses hundreds of dogs, sheep, and pigs in experiments. PETA filed a resolution after learning that a conscious dog died alone in his cage because an implant device delivered electric shocks to his heart. U.S. Department of Agriculture records show that the device should have been used only while the dog was anesthetized and unable to feel pain. At the company’s May 6 annual meeting, the PETA resolution called on executives to report to shareholders their strategy for using more non-animal testing methods and for releasing information to shareholders about the tests and species used and the way animals are housed.
- Charter airline Air Transport Services Group—along with its subsidiaries—is one of the only airlines that is still willing to fly monkeys to laboratories to be killed, and it has violated animal-welfare laws in the process. At the company’s May 7 annual meeting, we asked executives to ban the practice.
Attending annual meetings not only exposes how companies are using animals in tests but also informs other stockholders about cruelty that could hurt a company’s bottom line. PETA continues to work to change company policies from the inside out, including through more shareholder actions later this month.