Following China Southern Airlines’ decision to stop transporting terrified live primates to research laboratories back in March, Air France is now the only major international airline that still engages in this practice.
And now PETA, in collaboration with world-renowned primatologist, Dr. Jane Goodall, are determined to put a stop to it.
Goodall, who has been undertaking ground-breaking research into the lives of wild chimpanzees and other primates ever since the 1960s, certainly knows what she is talking about when she describes the “routine, miserable” conditions that lab monkeys must endure. In her open letter to Alexendre de Juniac, the chief executive of Air France, she said:
The monkeys Air France transports have been traumatically captured in the jungle or are the young offspring of mothers who were taken from the wild and forced to breed at horrendous monkey farms. … Once Air France delivers these monkeys to laboratories on long and terrifying flights, they are deprived of everything meaningful and necessary for them to be happy. In most cases, they are confined by themselves in small, desolate cages. They are denied physical contact with other monkeys. The only time they are removed form their cages is when someone is coming to subject them to a distressing or painful procedure. As would be the case in humans, this treatment leaves them desperately lonely, traumatized and psychologically damaged. They often rock, spin, cry out and even self mutilate.
Dr. Goodall is just the latest public figure to support PETA’s Air France campaign.
Last month, animal rights activist and Oscar-nominated “Babe” actor, James Cromwell, voluntarily locked himself in a giant crate at LAX airport to protest Air France’s continued transport of live primates. During the protest, which took place outside the Tom Bradley International Terminal, he and other PETA representatives demanded that the airline “join very other major airline in the world and stop transporting intelligent, social primates to laboratories, where they are tortured – sometimes for decades – before being killed.”
English nature photographer, TV presenter, and naturalist Chris Packham has also expressed his support for the campaign.
Air France once canceled an individual shipment of primates after a public outcry, so let’s keep up the pressure until they abandon this cruel practice once and for all!
Image source: dtrpolo/Flickr