Air France and the hell of the lab monkeys

With the return of Air France pilots to work, ending the strike, we will present a little-known aspect of the company. Every year, more than 10,000 monkeys are exported from Mauritius to laboratories located in Europe and the United States. Air France remains one of the few airlines to participate in this trade: animal protection associations are mobilizing to denounce its policy.

french monkeys

Monkeys on a breeding farm in Laos. © BUAV

Do you think the world’s biggest airlines have stopped taking monkeys to labs? You are not necessarily wrong. With one exception: our national airline, Air France, remains the only major airline to transport primates in the holds of its planes.

Locked in tight boxes, these monkeys will join European and American laboratories, where they will be imprisoned and tortured for the experiment. They will certainly be the subject of toxicity tests (drugs, chemicals) or neurological experiments, most often involving perforations of the braincase. Unless they are used for testing on behalf of the tobacco industry, they can spend years being psychologically and physically traumatized, confined in cramped, isolated cages, before being killed.

Peta and the Jane Goodall Foundation ask Air France to stop transporting these primates. They appeal to favor other airlines, provided that this trade has not ceased. However, Peta France suggests that anyonesend an email to Air France managers to express their indignation.

Does a monkey live pleasantly on a breeding farm?

Most lab monkeys are captured from the wild in African and Asian countries (Mauritius, Laos, China, etc.), before growing up on farms located in these same countries. It must be said that this trade is very profitable: each individual would be sold to laboratories for around 3,200 euros.

A hidden camera investigation conducted by the British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection (BUAV) in 2012 exposed the horror of livestock farms in Mauritius. A new survey published in January 2014 and carried out, this time, by the National Antivivisection Society (National Anti-Vivissection Society) shows that nothing has changed. The images were taken from a breeding site in Mauritius and denounce the mistreatment suffered by these animals: violent handling, samples, painful tests (including the tuberculin test which requires the insertion of a needle into the monkey’s eyelid), identification tattoo without anesthesia…

Read too : Animal experimentation: how many dead animals in Europe?

Is experimentation on monkeys inevitable?

Isn’t the suffering of monkeys necessary to allow research into serious diseases? This is, in particular, Air France’s position to defend itself. The company claims to respect international standards for air transport and the World Organization for Animal Health, insisting that “the use of primates for research purposes is decisive in many medical areas”, such as work on Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease. , depression, alcoholism, and infectious diseases such as HIV, malaria, and hepatitis C.

In a letter to Alexandre de Juniac, President and CEO of Air France-KLM, Jane Goodall responded to these misconceptions in July 2014. Experiments on monkeys are rarely beneficial. Study after study has shown that primates are not good models for human disease., she says. ” A landmark report released in 2011 by the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences I concluded that “most biomedical research in chimpanzees is unnecessary”; and a 2013 report published by the US National Institutes of Health concluded that “Research involving chimpanzees has rarely accelerated new discoveries or advances in human health and infectious diseases. If we cannot find cures for human diseases using our closest relatives, it is unlikely that we will find such cures through experimentation on our more distant primate cousins. “, he concludes.

Author: Matthew Combefounder of the webzine

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