Although United Airlines doesn’t ship animals for research, the airline now has to reconsider its stance due to a merger with Continental and pressure from the biomedical research industry.
Airlines play a major role in the international trade of thousands of non-human animals intended for research every year. According to U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) numbers analyzed by American Anti-Vivisection Society (AAVS), the importation of non-human primates being imported into the U.S. nearly doubled over the past decade from 10,530 animals in 1996 to 21,135 animals in 2010, while the number of imported monkeys born to wild-caught parents quadrupled from 1998-2008.
“The transportation and importation of primates for use in experimentation has drawn fire in recent years, and rightfully so. As “Primates by the Numbers” documents, this unsavory practice tears juvenile monkeys from their families, packs them into crates, and sends them on grueling journeys that can last for days. An estimated one percent of imported primates die each year at quarantine facilities, having suffered from conditions including bloat, pericarditis, hemorrhagic enteritis, pneumonia, dehydration, trauma, stress, pulmonary edema, rectal prolapse, and parasitic worm infestation,” according to the AAVS.
The problems surrounding the international trade of primates also goes beyond what happens to them during transportation that range from threatening wild populations to the conditions and abuse they’re subjected to at industrialized breeding facilities. The ones who survive the journey still have to endure lives as test subjects in cruel and unnecessary experiments.
United Airlines is preparing to publish a policy for the merged airline later this year and the biomedical research community is pushing hard to keep the flow of animals coming their way.
Please sign the petition asking United Airlines not to give in to pressure from the research industry and issue a policy against shipping animals for research.
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