When its current contract is up, Air France will no longer fly crates of monkeys for animal testing purposes.
The move is a huge win for various animal rights groups, which have campaigned for such a resolution for more than a decade. PETA and numerous grassroots activist organizations all contributed to the fight. Key supporters include Stop Camarles, One Voice, and Action for Primates.
Air France is the latest recognizable commercial airline to turn its back on animal cargo contracts. Similarly large refusers include Virgin Atlantic, US Airways, Qantas, Emirates, and more than 100 others.
Spain’s Wamos Air and EGYPTAIR have not revealed any plans to cease monkey and primate transportation to test laboratories. They are the final two airlines to continue the practice.
Ending cruelty in the sky
PETA U.S. led the campaign to force Air France to rethink its monkey and primate transportation service. Face-to-face discussions were held in Air France’s boardrooms after a slew of global demonstrations.
“Shareholder activism” and educational talks with the airline’s leadership failed to gain traction. Once excommunicated from Air France boardrooms, PETA U.S. embarked on an intentionally disruptive campaign.
Activists interrupted Air France’s executives during important industry conferences and erected large billboards at Air France-serviced airports. PETA France carried out an in-flight protest, between Paris and Marseille. Celebrity activists also joined the fray.
Expert primatologist Dr Jane Goodall and music icon Peter Gabriel both conveyed their dismay directly to the airline. Back in 2014, honorary PETA director and actor James Cromwell placed himself in a cage at LAX, to add impact to a demonstration.
“The real horror story is the pain and terror of the monkeys in Air France’s cargo holds beneath the feet of unsuspecting passengers,” Cromwell said at the time. “My friends at PETA and I are telling Air France that cruelty shouldn’t fly and that the airline needs to join the rest of the industry in refusing to deliver primates to their deaths in laboratories.”
The impact of Air France’s decision
Joining the long list of airlines that refuse to transport monkeys means that more will be able to remain in the wild. However, PETA says the trafficking of monkeys for experiments must be ended for good, alongside captivity breeding on factory farms.
PETA now turns its attention to EGYPTAIR which has flown up to 5,000 monkeys into New York since March. The animal rights organization implores global citizens to contact the airline to ask them to stop profiting from cruelty.