a close up of macaque monkey Several airlines have stopped transporting monkeys for testing - Media Credit: Jit Lim / Alamy Stock Photo

EgyptAir Will No Longer Transport Monkeys For Animal Testing

The airline says no to cruelty following pressure from activist groups


2 Minutes Read

EgyptAir has confirmed that it no longer flies monkeys from Africa and Asia for animal testing anywhere in the world. 

The news comes after PETA engaged in a three-month campaign designed to inform company executives and employees about the cruelty they were complicit with. 

The UK’s Action for Primates, Stop Carmales in Spain, and France’s One Voice all supported PETA with localized campaigns.

EgyptAir follows in the footsteps of Air France, which announced in July that it would not be renewing its monkey transportation contracts.

AirBridgeCargo, Emirates, US Airways, Virgin Atlantic, and more than 100 other airlines have made similar pledges.

The campaign to end cruelty

Global PETA entities came together to implore EgyptAir to rethink its monkey transportation policy, after securing victory with Air France.

Protests were held in multiple international airports, including John F. Kennedy (JFK) in New York. More than 100,000 supporters also sent emails to the airline, demanding the end of animal flights. Meanwhile, PETA Asia sent t-shirts and mugs to company executives, asking them to step in.

The airline became a target for campaigners after insiders alerted the animal rights organization to a shipment of 720 macaque monkeys, who were flown from Cambodia to JFK in April. 

Official records show that 5,000 monkeys have been transported into the US by EgyptAir since March.

“EgyptAir’s decision will prevent thousands of monkeys from being ripped from their families, shoved into tiny boxes, and shipped around the globe to endure misery and death in laboratories,” PETA vice president Dr. Alka Chandna said in a statement. 

“Any other airline considering getting into this trade should think again—PETA is watching.”

Spain’s Wamos Air remains the only major airline to not address its flying of monkeys and primates to testing laboratories. 

PETA has previously named the airline as abstaining from policy reform, signaling the potential for a future targeted campaign.

No end in sight for monkey testing

The monkey wildlife trade is rife with illegal activity, violence, and disease.

However, there is no sign of it slowing down, due to the demand for animals to test on, particularly in the US. This, despite the National Institutes of Health and the US Food and Drug Administration admission that 95 percent of all new drugs that test as safe in animals are not suitable for humans.

Last year it was reported that more than $13 million of taxpayer money had been invested in monkey experiments since 2018. To keep up with the demand for animals, the NIH was found to have initiated a captive breeding program on Morgan Island.

Millions around the world trust Plant Based News for content about navigating our changing planet & our role in it.

Our independent team of journalists and experts are committed to making an impact through a wide range of content—and you can help by supporting our work today.


The Author

Amy Buxton

Amy enjoys reporting on vegan news and sustainability initiatives. She has a degree in English literature and language and is raising a next-gen vegan daughter.

More by Amy Buxton iconography/arrow-right


Leave a Comment

Plant Based News Comment Policy

In short:- If you act with maturity and consideration for other users, you should have no problems. Please read our Comment policy before commenting.

Notify of

Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
1 month ago

Let’s hope the people fighting diseases and saving humanity will find an alternative carrier. Let’s hope those resting eyeliner do not.

Plant Based News Admin
Plant Based News Admin
1 month ago
Reply to  Rebelwave

Are you unaware of the abundant, animal-free alternatives for animal testing?

1 month ago

Well if you can find a way to study Alzheimer’s without some specimen of living brain tissue I’d love to know so that my lab could win the Nobel.

Plant Based News Admin
Plant Based News Admin
1 month ago
Reply to  Rebelwave

More than 99 percent of Alzheimer’s drugs failed in human trials after passing animal tests. The animals we test on do not even naturally get ALzheimer’s.
Dr. Eric Hill (https://research.aston.ac.uk/en/persons/eric-hill), a scientist at the U.K.’s Aston Research Centre for Healthy Ageing, is using skin cells from Alzheimer’s patients to grow brain cells in Petri dishes. The skin cells are “reprogrammed” to become stem cells—the master cells of the human body—which are then turned into neurons and astrocytes (brain cells).
He says, “Not only could the study result in an increased understanding of the causes of the disease and how to successfully treat it, but also it may lead to pharmaceutical companies reducing by many thousands the number of transgenic mice they use per year in Alzheimer’s research.”

Another researcher, Professor Paul Lawrence Furlong at Aston University, is using human brain imaging to find a method of early detection for dementia.

These non-animal research methods for Alzheimer’s and other diseases are leading to real breakthroughs.

1 month ago

I know and respect Eric he’s my friend and frequent colleague, we went to the same uni for BSc :)….. and he knows the limitations to this very well, this work is pretty old, it must be 10 years old by now.

You are jumping the gun by a lot. Yes someday, many, many decades from now, this will likely lead to the breakthrough that can eliminate or greatly reduce our need to use animal specimens to elucidate and test the mechanisms and treatments for Alzheimer’s (and maybe even some other pathologies). As it stands, however, these methods are so novel we will always have to confirm their results with a suite of in additional animal studies. So each time they are used animals will die and that will be true for probably our whole lifetimes.

More than 99% of ALL drugs don’t make it to market whether or not they are tested on animals, which all of them will be as we need to have a solid understanding of their toxicity in mammals before using them on humans. We do our best not to guess or assume in science, especially true when designing something for use or ingestion by our fellow humans.

Artificially induced Alz in both living and deceased animal specimen studies is still a far superior method for study of this disease/ treatment. In vitro bench experiments cannot give you the detail and understanding that in vivo experimentation will and certainly wont provide you with the basic answers to things like the ADME of the drug.

When you said ” Are you unaware of the abundant, animal-free alternatives for animal testing?” you were stating the impossible.

Nothing you have presented is an “alternative” to animal testing as it is insufficient to answer all the questions needed to safely bring a drug to market…. you cant tell me how much of it will kill me, how it will be processed in the liver vs the kidneys vs the heart, how long it will act on me systemically or what kind of side effects I will experience. And generally you need to have a pretty good idea of all of this before the first human test takes place, let alone for the drug to be described.

My apologies but you’re definitely in my wheelhouse now and there are no alternatives to animal testing for pharmaceuticals. Cosmetics sure, heck I’ll risk it in most cases! but pharma, guess again.

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x