By Melissa Cronin
In response to pressure from animal activists, China Southern Airlines, one of the world’s largest airlines, has agreed not to transport lab monkeys on their planes. In an e-mail to PETA, Chen Qiuhua, senior cargo manager for the company, said that the airline will "stop transporting live primates for laboratory experiments on all flights of China Southern Airlines, effective from March 21, 2014."
In 2013, the airline shipped more than 2,500 monkeys to laboratories in the U.S., according to federal records. Previous to this announcement, China Southern, which flies over 70 million passengers each year, was one of just two major airlines that still shipped primates to laboratories.
The other remaining airline is Air France, which is currently the target of animal advocates as well. PETA has spearheaded a campaign and a petition demanding that the airline stop transporting lab monkeys, like United, Aer Lingus, Air China, American, British Airways, Delta and others have already done. A statement on Air France’s website defends the company’s practice:
Air France Cargo refuses transportation if the testing protocols do not conform to these regulations and visits all customers to make sure this is the case. Air France Cargo also monitors the supplier, who must comply with the breeding rules in force. Are you concerned about the treatment of animals? Voice your opinion by using the hashtag #StopAnimalCruelty or #StopAnimalAbuse on Twitter or Instagram.