Monkeys Belong on the No-Fly List
By: Justin Goodman, Director of Laboratory Investigations at PETA
Most travelers have no idea that right below their feet on a plane destined for a vacation or business trip, there may be crates stuffed with dozens of terrified monkeys headed for pain and misery in laboratories. And thankfully, this scenario is becoming increasingly unlikely because most airlines around the world have decided that they want no role in transporting primates for cruel and archaic experiments.
Recent efforts by PETA have convinced China Eastern Airlines, United Airlines, Air China, China Southern, El Al, Air Canada, and others to stop accepting these ill-fated primate passengers. These were some of the most crucial airlines that were involved in the international primate trade, and their compassionate decisions are already bearing fruit for animals. With only three major airlines in the world still shipping primates to laboratories, facilities are finding it harder to keep their horrendous cages filled.
In 2012, according to documents obtained by PETA from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, there were 17,000 primates imported to U.S. laboratories. This number sounds like a lot, and it is, but it’s 1,000 fewer than in 2011 and also a whopping 40 percent decrease from just five years ago. That means thousands fewer monkeys are being ripped from the wild or bred at horrendous factory farms in Asia, Africa, and the Caribbean and sold to barbaric experimenters.
Still, there are 125,000 monkeys and other primates currently imprisoned in U.S. laboratories at pharmaceutical companies, universities, and private-contract laboratories, such as those of leading importers Covance and SNBL. These social, intelligent individuals are frequently shocked, poisoned, starved, crippled, cut into, addicted to drugs, and have their brains damaged. They are driven mad by the stress and terror of being locked in tiny barren steel cages all by themselves and begin to spin and rock incessantly, rip out their own hair, and bite themselves.
Heartless experimenters have demonstrated that they won’t voluntarily stop tormenting primates, even though it’s cruel and ineffective and a large percentage of citizens who involuntarily fund the cruelty with their tax dollars oppose it. But airlines can’t and won’t ignore the will of potential customers.
Here’s how you can help:
Help keep monkeys out of deadly laboratories and in the wild with their friends and families, where they belong, by telling Air France, Vietnam Airlines, and Philippine Airlines that cruelty doesn’t fly.
Justin Goodman is the director of laboratory investigations at People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.