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Support Air Canada’s Decision to Stop Transporting Primates for Research

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Airlines play a key role in the international trade in primates for research by transporting monkeys for laboratories around the world. Cruelty and suffering are an intrinsic part of the trade. Some monkeys are taken from the wild; others are the offspring of wild-caught individuals forced into captivity for a lifetime of breeding. All are torn from their family groups, packed into small, wooden crates and shipped as cargo, usually on extremely long journeys.

Revelations by the British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection (BUAV) of Air Canada’s role in the transportation of primates for research led to widespread publicity and an international campaign supported by members, animal organisations and individuals around the world. As a consequence, Air Canada has made a decision to stop the transportation of such primates and filed an amended tariff to the Canadian Transportation Agency (CTA). 

The airline stated: “It was a decision taken both to align our policies with those of many other major international carriers and in response to widespread public concern.”

Unfortunately, following a complaint, the CTA has now suspended Air Canada’s amended tariff pending a hearing on its proposed new policy.

Please support Air Canada’s decision and request the Canadian Transportation Agency recognise the strength of public feeling on this issue and allow Air Canada to align its policies with those of other major passenger airlines. 

Primates are highly sensitive animals, so this treatment and the conditions they endure are extremely stressful for them. Some may become ill and even die in transit. Delays, poor ventilation, noise and temperature fluctuations can add to their misery.

Only a small number of passenger airlines continue to be involved in this grim business, including Air France, China Eastern Airlines, China Southern Airlines, China Air and Vietnam Airlines.


Read more about the BUAV Cargo Cruelty campaign and see a full list of airlines which do and do not transport non-human primates for research.  

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