An invitation

Again and again the same falacious tactics are used to lobby airlines to stop transporting non human primates. PETA has such a campaign going on the web. It is called: ask airlines to stop shipping monkeys to be tortured. The call to action is fallacious for it makes a link between airlines and torture. It also creates an impression that there is no oversight whatsoever as to what is happening in a laboratory, in aviation and the importations of animals. There also isn't a word about regulatory authorities and the hard work they do on all the shipments that enter a country (vets, inspectors etc).

Whilst the picture on the web site displays wooden crates, there is no obvious sign of an animal being cramped in them. The message also infers that there are no inspections or other criteria for shipping animals into the US, which is absurd. I can assure you that, often in tandem with government agencies, airlines have been setting international container standards for shipment of animals since 1969 at a time where animal welfare was a notion few had heard of. That is not to say that everything was perfect but certainly nothing was left unattended.

These international airline standards are reviewed on an annual basis and published annually by IATA in the Live Animals Regulations manual. These same container standards are recognized by CITES through a resolution and are applicable for the transportation of CITES listed species. They are also applicable in Europe through EC directive 1 2005. The animal welfare organisations such as the HSUS, WSPCA etc are aware of this CITES resolution as are the signatory countries to the Washington Convention.  Some of them participate in the meetings of the CITES transport working group, as I have done in the past. It doesn't prevent the animal extremist organisations to spread wrong information and lead the general public to action airlines and associate airlines with the suffering of animals.

Asking the airlines to stop transporting monkeys because they are destined to laboratories is like asking airlines to stop transporting passengers because they are involved in a perfectly legal activity that PETA just happens to not like, such as for example farming, fishing, clothing, chemical testing, drug discovery, food and other retail, cosmetics, companionship animals, animal conservation etc. the list is just too long to go on but you get the picture. Guilty by association is the message to their members and the public, what are you going to do about it. Send them a clear message, it is already pre-written for you and all you need to do is to click on "send this message". 

If you are working in an animal use industry or your company caters to them, make sure your voice is heard through your associations and your government representatives. The time for change is now.


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