Air France will soon join more than a dozen other renowned airlines that no longer cruelly fly monkeys to labs worldwide for gruesome and deadly experiments.

The airline, which has for decades shipped hundreds of monkeys each year to labs in Europe and the United States, announced in June via Twitter that it will stop shipping monkeys for experiments as soon as it fulfills its existing contracts.

The post, originally written in French, has since been “liked” hundreds of times and retweeted by dozens of people. 

Action for Primates (AfP), one of the animal welfare organizations that have long been campaigning for an end to the grueling flights that send monkeys to cruel destinations, applauded the decision.

“At the end of their nightmare journeys, these monkeys are destined to spend their lives in a metal cage thousands of miles away from their families and subjected to experiments and tests that will cause them to suffer unimaginably, with death at the end,” the nonprofit said. 

Earlier this year, concerned airline workers and members of the public alerted AfP to five Air France flights that collectively transported at least 579 nonhuman primates – most prevalently long-tailed macaques – from Mauritius and Vietnam to laboratories in the United States and Europe.

The monkeys endured grueling journeys of up to 20 hours of travel time, spent in cramped travel crates in the cargo hold where they also were subject to noise, inadequate ventilation, temperature fluctuations, and delays — conditions common in any transatlantic flight involving animals used in research, according to Action for Primates. 

AFP tracked the monkeys’ journeys to research contractors who used the animals for toxicity testing –an  inhumane protocol where chemicals or drugs are injected into animals intravenously or via a tube forced down their throats and into their stomachs, often in high doses, to see the possible impact on human consumers.

Animals can suffer from vomiting, seizures, weight loss, internal bleeding, organ failure and death as a result. Animals who survive the brutal procedures are killed so scientists can dissect and analyze their organs, AfP reported.

Other airlines that have stopped flights of animals destined for experiments due to the cruelty of both the flights themselves and the horrific outcomes for the animals include American Airlines, British Airways, United Airlines, Eva Air, Air Canada, China Airlines, and Kenya Airways.

“Action for Primates is grateful that Air France will now become part of a growing list of passenger airlines that have ended their involvement in the cruel international trade in non-human primates,” the nonprofit said.

Other animal welfare groups that have kept pressure on Air France over the years include Cruelty Free International, the European Coalition to End Animal Experiments, and People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA). 

AFP, along with One Voice and Stop Camarles, also is campaigning to urge the remaining airlines that allow the cruel shipments to stop them – as is Lady Freethinker.

If you haven’t already, please sign our petition urging WAMOS Air, a Spanish airline, to stop shipping monkeys for research to help us end this abuse.

SIGN: Tell Royal Caribbean to End Deadly Shipping of Research Monkeys

Macaque monkeys