FROM TREES TO TERROR
AIR FRANCE-KLM is the only major European carrier that still ships primates for medical research. PATTON BOGGS mediates global trade and transportation issues as lawyers and lobbyists for the airlines. Both are complicit in cruelty and scientific deceit.
Primates are trapped in trees rigged with nets. Stuffed into mesh sacks. They shriek and claw at enclosures. No one hears. They are taken.
Some are bred on barren, concrete farms that churn out live product for the international animal research trade. Nonhuman primates are valued models for experimentation, though they fail to produce clinical symptoms or data relevant to human disease processes, and can even mislead experimenters with false conclusions.
To reach research labs, animals are crated and trucked for miles. Most wind up in the extreme heat or cold of a plane's poorly ventilated cargo hold, where they are caged during flights that can last 60 hours.
They enter a world bound by metal bars, pain and fear. Primates are induced with human disease and injury. Experimenters poison, overdose and mutilate monkeys. Electrodes are lodged in exposed brain matter. Seizures are stimulated. Limbs removed…
I ask both companies to acknowledge worldwide objection to primate "cargo." Please consider that 80 percent of responders to a 2010 European Directive about animal research oppose experiments on primates. In the U.S., an Institute Of Medicine report has fueled potential passage of a bill to ban most research on chimps and great apes.
Primate data can rarely be replicated or used reliably in drug/vaccine development. Primates fail to produce clinical symptoms relevant to human disease processes - and even mislead experimenters with false conclusions. Conversely, human-focused systems such as bioinformatics, in-vitro cell/tissue culture analysis, life-like simulators, etc. better evaluate products and treatment for people.
Why should you care? Because Air France and Patton Boggs are conduits to profound animal cruelty.
Primates are trapped in trees and stuffed into mesh sacks. They shriek and claw when taken from native forests. Some are warehoused on breeding farms. To reach research labs, they are crated and trucked for miles. Most wind up in the extreme heat or cold of a plane's poorly ventilated cargo hold, for flights that can last up to 60 hours.
They enter a world bound by metal bars, pain and fear. Primates are induced with human disease and injury. Experimenters poison, overdose and mutilate monkeys. Electrodes are lodged in exposed brain matter. Seizures are stimulated. Limbs removed... Still, we have no cures for infectious disease, AIDS, neurological disease (Alzheimer's, Parkinson's), and other ailments studied in primates.
Some 85 vaccines to cure or prevent HIV infection looked good in animals, mostly monkeys, according to Dr. John Pippin, a former Harvard University medical professor who testified before the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and Institute of Medicine in 2005. Those vaccines, tested in clinical trials, all failed. In 2012, a Colombia court denied permits for renowned malaria researcher Dr. Manuel Elkin Patarroyo to trap 4,000 night monkeys. After decades of primate research at Patarroyo's Institute of Immunology Foundation, a malaria cure is nowhere in sight.
I respectfully ask Air France to join Delta, American, Virgin Atlantic, US Airways, British Airways, Lufthansa, Air China, Cathay Pacific, Air India, El Al Airlines...and most big flight companies that reject primate cargo. I urge Patton Boggs to distance itself from the airlines until it officially bans primate transfer for research.
This is a matter of worldwide concern. Thank you for your valuable time and consideration.