The National Association of Biomedical Research has complained to the US Department of Transport, stating that airlines are discriminating against animal researchers by refusing the transportation of animals to laboratories.
A formal complaint has been submitted on the unlawfulness of refusing to fly animals for use in testing, while transporting the same animals for other reasons. They also state that without being able to transport ‘research models’ between countries or breeders and research institutions, imperative scientific research of innovative treatments will be prevented.
Kirk Leech, the executive director of the European Animal Research Association, said that: “It takes a long time to breed these animals, and if their transport is stopped then researchers will have to recreate breeding colonies, requiring the unnecessary use of many more animals over successive generations.”
But British Airways, China Southern Airlines, United Airlines and Qatar Airways all possess policies preventing them from flying animals to be experimented on, citing ethical reasons. Campaigners, like Michelle Thew, CEO of Cruelty Free International are calling for these transport companies to hold steady: “Airlines have the right to decide what or who they transport, and they should not be pressured by the animal-research industry or governments to act a certain way.” Thew added: “It should be based on what’s best for the business, which includes respecting the animal-welfare wishes of its customers.”
We hope that Cruelty Free International, which has persuaded many of the world’s major airlines to stop transporting primates and other animals destined for research, continues to work with airlines and helps them to maintain their ethical legislations.