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BUAV calls on Air Canada to stop transporting monkeys after whistleblower raises concerns

24/01/2011

The BUAV has renewed its call to Air Canada to stop transporting primates destined for the research industry. The call comes following a tip-off to the BUAV from a concerned member of staff at Toronto Airport that monkeys from breeding farms in China are flown into Toronto Airport. They are held at the airport overnight, for up to 15 hours or more, before sent on another Air Canada flight to Montreal and their final destination – the research laboratory. The most recent shipment of 48 monkeys arrived in Toronto on Saturday 23rd January.  

The BUAV has led the international campaign calling on airlines to stop transporting primates destined for the research industry, an issue of strong public interest. In recent years, an increasing number of airlines have taken the decision to dissociate themselves from the cruelty and suffering that are intrinsic to the trade in primates. These include British Airways, United Airlines, Virgin Atlantic, Northwest Airlines, Qantas Airways, South African Airways, Delta Airlines, Eva Air and China Airlines. Air Canada is one of only a small number of passenger airlines that continues to be involved in this grim business.

The BUAV has been joined by leading Canadian animal groups, STOP UBC Animal Research and Animal Alliance, to call on Air Canada to stop transporting non-human primates destined for the research industry. We are calling upon Canadian citizens and air passengers from around the world to contact Air Canada to show the strength of public feeling on this issue.   

BUAV’s Director of Special Projects, Sarah Kite, states: “Shipping these highly sensitive and intelligent animals as cargo in small wooden crates is in itself appalling. For them to have to suffer these cramped conditions for a further 15 hours or more is shocking. This is an issue of strong public concern. We urge Air Canada to join the growing list of airlines that have stopped their involvement in the cruel trade in primates.”

BUAV’s call to Air Canada has already been picked up by leading newspaper, the Toronto Sun and also the Toronto Star.

Please write to Air Canada asking them to stop transporting primates for research.

Only last week the Province ran a story on primate research at the University British Columbia (UBC) in Canada following an exposé by Stop UBC Animal Research and the BUAV.