Even though nearly every major airline in the world has abandoned the disgraceful practice, Air China continues to transport hundreds of monkeys from Asia to their deaths in some of the cruelest laboratories in the United States.
Some of the monkeys are bred in captivity on cramped, squalid factory farms, while others are stolen from their homes in the wild. The traumatized monkeys are crammed into small wooden crates and transported in the dark and terrifying cargo holds of planes, often on passenger flights just below unsuspecting customers. In 2012 alone, Air China has been cited for four violations of the federal Animal Welfare Act, stemming from incidents in which laboratory-bound monkeys either escaped or were injured as a result of the dangerous and inadequate enclosures that Air China used aboard its flights.
Upon arriving at laboratories, these highly intelligent and social primates are confined to small, barren cages, where many suffer from extreme boredom, loneliness, frustration, and depression. Primates used in testing are routinely infected with deadly diseases, have tubes forced down their throats so that chemicals can be pumped into their stomachs, and have their heads cut open so that devices can be implanted in their brains.
Air China’s decision to profit off the suffering of these monkeys puts the airline out of step with most leading companies in the cargo and passenger airline industry—including China Airlines, China Southern Airlines, Cathay Pacific, Delta Air Lines, Lufthansa, and British Airways—all of which have banned the transport of primates to laboratories.
Find contact information for over 30 Air China offices here:
Tell the National Institutes of Health to intervene on behalf of 15 young chimpanzees used at BIOQUAL, Inc., in Rockville, Md., and release them to a sanctuary.
We request that you use the considerable influence of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to ensure that the fifteen young chimpanzees used at BIOQUAL, Inc., in Rockville, Md., are released to a sanctuary.
We request the 11 chimpanzees who were leased by NIH and housed a BIOQUAL until recently to be transferred from New Iberia Research Center, Louisiana, to Sanctuary and the four remaining chimpanzees, being housed at BIOQUAL, Inc, be transferred directly to sanctuary.
These chimpanzees, collectively known as the Rockville 15, range in age from just 2 to 7 years old and were likely born in violation of NIH’s own 1995 breeding moratorium.
Considering that they are unnecessary for human health research, as detailed in the recent Institute of Medicine report, they should be released to sanctuary where it is cheaper for you to house them, and a much better environment for these chimpanzees to live.
They must not live out their days in a laboratory that has repeatedly violated the Animal Welfare Act.
New Iberia is currently under investigation by the United States Department of Agriculture for an incident in which the decomposing bodies of three monkeys were found trapped in a metal chute. In addition, between 2000 and 2008, 14 infant chimpanzees died as a result of traumatic injury at New Iberia.
Dr. Francis Collins, Director,
National Institutes of Health
9000 Rockville Pike
Bethesda, Maryland 20892