This week Japan Airlines confirmed it no longer transports monkeys to laboratories and will not do so in the future. This statement follows our recent revelation that monkeys had been shipped by Japan Airlines from Indonesia to a laboratory in Japan. The airline will now join the Cruelty Free International growing list of airlines that have dissociated themselves from this cruel trade.
Every year thousands of monkeys are shipped around the world for the research industry. Monkeys are packed into small wooden crates and travel in the cargo hold of passenger and cargo airplanes. They are sensitive animals, easily stressed and may become ill or even die in transit. Delays, poor ventilation, noise and temperature fluctuations can add to their misery.
Yet, the life of torment for these monkeys doesn’t begin on board the airplane to laboratories. Cruelty and suffering are an intrinsic part of the trade. Some monkeys are taken from the wild, ripped from their family groups and homes. Others are the offspring of wild-caught individuals caught in the wild and forced into captivity in large-scale farms, their babies taken from them to feed the research industry. Most of these animals are kept imprisoned in concrete pens; a far cry from living freely in their jungle homes.
Cruelty Free International has led the campaign to end this chain of suffering. For over two decades, our hard-hitting investigations have uncovered the cruelty inflicted on monkeys. As a result, we have seen many of the world’s flag carriers - once major transporters of monkeys to laboratories - including American Airlines, British Airways, United Airlines, Northwest Airlines, South African Airways, Delta Airlines, Eva Air, Air Canada and China Airlines end their involvement. Many other passenger airlines have also declared their intent to never become involved in this ugly business.
However, Air France, continues to be the only known European passenger airline still engaged in this cruel trade; in particular transporting monkeys from Mauritius to the laboratories of the US and Europe. Its CEO recently defended the airline’s transportation of monkeys for laboratory research.
So, next time you are travelling on an Air France airplane, please spare a thought for who may be imprisoned in the cargo hold below your feet, terrified and alone and a very long way from home.
You can take action now to help end the suffering.