Cargo carriers refuse to transport research animals

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Cargo carriers refuse to transport research animals

monkey in cage

In another stunning example of consumer power, the world’s top two largest cargo airlines, Fed Ex and DHL, join UPS in initiating a ban on shipments of live animals to laboratories.

After growing pressure from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) as part of its anti-vivisection campaign, both Fed Ex and DHL have sent written confirmation to the animal activist group that they will not transport mammals for scientific purposes.

UPS also announced that it will further restrict an exemption that allows the transport of reptiles, amphibians and other non-mammal animals for research, according to the scientific journal Nature.

Although Fed Ex and DHL admit they ship few to no live animals for research, their ban on shipping research animals denotes a turn in the tide of public opinion in regards to the ethics of torturing animals under the pretense of finding even the smallest benefit to humankind.

PETA lists Delta Air Lines, American Airlines, US Airways, Air China, China Southern Airlines, TAM Airlines, Hainan Airlines and El Al Airlines, among dozens of others, as being committed to denying transport of nonhuman primates and other mammals from breeding facilities to torture chambers.

A few airlines have yet to be convinced that their profits are better protected bowing to the will of the people rather than the few institutions that make a living off of imprisoning and purposefully injuring or sickening animals.

Most notably, these airlines are: Air France, China Eastern Airlines, United Airlines, Philippine Airlines, and Vietnam Airlines.

The more of us who vocally refuse to fly with these airlines, the sooner they will join the air carriers enjoying the favorable public relations attention that comes with corporate responsibility.

Click on any of the provided links for those airlines and you can politely let them know why you will not be flying with them. The Philippine Airlines can be reached at wecare@pal.com.ph. You can also send a generic email through PETA to the airlines here.

Seriously folks, this is the surest way to change in an era of Big Business. They work for us.

According to Nature:

PETA says that it is systematically approaching every major cargo carrier in the world, putting pressure on both international and domestic shipments. In India, for example, the government’s National Institute of Nutrition (NIN), in Hyderabad, relies on Air India to ship specialized mouse strains to researchers and companies throughout the country.

In response to pressure from PETA-India, Air India wrote to the group in July saying “we … do not accept animals for experimental purposes.” On 23 August, Air India issued a circular to all its managers and cargo staff declaring “Air India does not carry ‘Live Animals for experimental purposes’”.

Around 23,000 primates were shipped just to the United States in 2010, according to the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, nearly all of them destined to the misery of a laboratory filled with cold metal bars and cold hearts.

This baby monkey was stolen from its mother soon after birth and clutches a blanket for comfort. It will find none in those who seek only to obtain information from its suffering

Along with our cousins the primates, millions of dogs, cats, rabbits, pigs and other animals are forced to endure confinement and medical testing that outside of the walls of these laboratories would clearly violate our animal welfare laws, only to be euthanized at the end of the study if they did not already die from their trials.

Animals do not exist for our benefit. They were here long before our species emerged, and will hopefully persist long after our exit. As ethical beings , most of us would shudder at the true images of life for these creatures inside a laboratory.

Does yet another lemon-scented cleanser justify torture? If a new shade of eye shadow means thousands of animals must suffer, I don’t want it.

You can purchase many products that have not been tested on animals. See this Cruelty free product search.

And, as pharmaceutical companies are one of the greatest contributors of global animal suffering in the name of science, perhaps the strongest stand you can take is to get healthy.

As long as the West continues to suffer from the myriad of lifestyle diseases causing us to depend on prescription drugs, millions of animals, even those we have deemed worthy of family member status like dogs and cats, will suffer more.

Banner photo by Vinoth Chandar

Tina is a journalist and mother of three who's lived all her life in the South Bay of Los Angeles except for a two-year stint in the heart of Spain. She believes humans have the capacity to make this a beautiful world for all species to live, and mothers have a special charge to raise their children to enjoy, love and respect all creatures. Visit her blog at www.bluewaterspecial.com for a dose of sarcasm, humor and news.

  • http://www.dare2baware.com viola woolcott

    That’s good news in a way. wish it would stop altogether.

  • Carol Hupp

    very good news to hear!!!

  • ann fox

    I went to United’s facebook page & twitter & left comments …..about the revolting way they make some of their money by transporting these poor animals….

  • http://www.speakingofresearch.com Tom

    Really concerning that labs are having to pay more and more money for lab animals – this will both slow down the development of new treatments, as well as pushing up the price of lifesaving medications.

  • Wendy

    Making it more expensive to find the cure for aids, cancer or vaccines against major disease feels very anti-life and a loss for humanity. Why run for a race for the cure next Saturday if all the money will go into shipping alone? Shame on these airlines putting ignorant face value social pressure before life saving advancement. Please, tell me again how saving animals is more important than the life and health of my friends and family. I’m sure my friend on chemo would much rather have a rat live than be around to raise her children.

  • Mary

    There are many diseases that we can treat because of animal research. Animal research continues to be needed to find treatments for cancer and other illnesses. Many lives are and will be saved because of this research. The research does need over site to be sure researchers are treating the animals as well as possible and the research has a reasonable chance of a positive outcome. But please know that someone you are close to will have their life saved because of animal research.

  • Dave

    There is a common misconception among those against using animal models in research that this is all about the pharmaceutical companies. It’s not. There is much research going on that is dedicated to learning how the body functions. Despite all that we do know, there is much that is still unknown. The role of specific proteins, enzymes, etc..are still being explored. It’s naive at best to assume that somehow just “getting healthy” will end the need for animal based research. I suppose it’s the fault of the 10 year old child with Leukemia that they have it? Perhaps they should just suck it up and realize they should have done more to prevent their disease. I find it funny that the author states people should by cruelty free cosmetics but doesn’t volunteer to give up medications. Would she refuse and MRI if one were needed? Would she refuse emergency medical care if needed? Somehow I doubt it.

    Additionally, animal research helps animals. Actually that’s a bit misleading since those opposed to animal research seem to forget we ARE animals. But I digress. All those vaccines and boosters that our pets get each year to keep them healthy, how does the author think those were discovered? This article is rife with the standard PETA talking points which don’t require those like this author to actually think beyond their emotional knee-jerk reactions. She, like so many like her, have no idea what animal research really is and understand even less how it works.

  • Melissa

    So glad to see more comments debunking this ridiculous concept that animals are “tortured by cold-hearted scientists.” We love animals as much as you do. In fact, our research animals live better lives than some people’s pets or strays people dump on the street. Immediate medical attention by top veterinarians and pain medication for the slightest injury, social housing, cognitive development, human interaction, enrichment, you name it. There are whole departments and committees dedicated to making sure this is what happens in each research lab.

    Non-scientists are the ones that are cold-hearted and cruel to the animals that share our world. Put your effort into stopping dog fighting and legitimate animal abuse and quit accusing animal researchers of torturing animals, when it’s just not true. You’re wasting your time and money.

    If animals can’t be shipped by air, they’ll have to be transported by trucks. Researchers will add this increased cost to grants they submit to the NIH, the federal government will raise taxes, and then you’ll be paying for it, lol. Great plan :)

    <3 my monkeys

  • Alice

    I’m glad some commenters have already pointed out that this author’s incendiary views about animal research are just plain wrong.

    Before a researcher is allowed to conduct a study involving animals, he/she must demonstrate that alternatives such as computer models and cell cultures would not be able to answer the question they are asking. After that, before a study can be approved, the researcher must do everything they can to minimize the animals’ pain or distress.

    Airline companies should realize that the compassionate thing to do is to continue shipping animals. They can rest assured that the animals will be treated well and will contribute to cures that improve the lives of all animals–human and non-human alike.

  • http://labrat.com Lab Rat

    It would great if we could get a commitment from everyone who is against animal research to not use the technologies and medicines developed from this research. Chances are when it’s your life on the line you’ll be in line for the cure found by using these highly valuable research animals who give their lives to save yours.

  • Dawnsong412

    The majority of these screamers are fanatics plain and simple.
    What an idiotic statement to make we need to get healthy. As if people get sick by choice. We certainly could adopt healthier lifestyles but that will not put a stop to the myraid diseases humans confront. What they realy want to say is just die. Why are you more important than an animal. Thats their logic