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End Airline Transportation of Primates for Research

End Airline Transportation of Primates for Research

Update: This petition is now closed. 

Primates Suffer in Cargo Transport

Airlines transport primates packed into small wooden crates to research facilities worldwide, including to the U.S. Some die in transport because of the deplorable conditions of being shipped as cargo. Others endure and survive only to reach a cruel fate in research. 

More and more transportation and airline companies are ending the practice of shipping primates destined for laboratories, and this is making an impact on the international primate trade. In March 2014, China Southern Airlines agreed to end the transport of primates for research. Last year, Fed Ex and UPS announced they would not transport any mammal for research. Dozens of other airlines have also already committed to ending the practice of shipping primates (some may still ship other animals for research), including United Airlines, Continental Airlines, Air Canada, Air China, China Eastern Airlines, Hainan Airlines, Cathay Pacific, American Airlines, Lufthansa, British Airways, Vietnam Airlines, Philippine Airlines, and Virgin Atlantic.

Airlines that have yet to ban the transport of primates include Air France, Air India, and ABX Air. Unfortunately, Air India banned the practice in August 2012 only to rescind the decision in October after pressure from researchers.

During flights, primates endure delays, poor ventilation, noise, and dangerous temperature fluctuations on their extremely long journeys. The anxiety and stress they suffer can lead to increased susceptibility to infection. Documents obtained by BUAV provide a disturbing insight into how these animals suffer.

The following reported incidences illustrate the pain and suffering endured by the primates: 

  • "On uncrating, he was found in moribund condition. Part of the wooden crate had been chewed away and no food was present in the crate. The primate died while IV fluids were being administered."
  • "One animal died during transport from Vietnam. The animal was removed in Paris at the airport; the cause of death was reportedly from … [the build-up of gas in the intestinal tract]"
  • "One animal imported from Mauritius was dead on arrival."
  • Conditions that resulted in the death or euthanasia of primates (during the quarantine period) imported into the U.S. during 2009 included pneumonia, enteritis, gastroenteritis, dehydration, weight loss, poor body condition, and infection.

NEAVS calls on supporters to contact airlines listed below to request they cease involvement in primate transport and implement an immediate ban on the transportation of primates for research.

Suggested letter text:

I am shocked to learn that your airline is involved in the international transportation of primates to laboratories. It is inhumane and unacceptable that living animals are packed into small crates and shipped like cargo only to end up in laboratories where they will suffer or die in experiments.

I urge you to join the increasing number of airlines that have stopped their involvement in this cruelty and instead refuse to be a part of the trade in living animals for profit. 


Your name


Send to:

Air France

Air India

Use this form on their website

NEAVS thanks you for your ongoing support to end animal cruelty in research.