Russian airline AirBridgeCargo has announced it will stop transporting monkeys to laboratories immediately.
The announcement follows a campaign by animal rights charity PETA. Activists - and supporters of the charity - bombarded the airline with 'thousands of phone calls and tens of thousands of e-mails' over the last two weeks.
According to PETA, the airline previously imported monkeys from China to the U.S. through Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport. The charity says it received a tip from a whistleblower that the airline was considering to expand this practice to Los Angeles International Airport (LAX).
Supporters and activists were alerted, and started a pressure campaign. Two weeks later, the airline announced it had canceled any plans to start flying monkeys through LAX and also implemented a formal policy banning the transport of nonhuman primates on the company's entire fleet.
PETA Senior Vice President of Laboratory Investigations, Kathy Guillermo, said: "AirBridgeCargo's decision will make it even harder for laboratories to obtain monkeys to confine to cages, infect with diseases, force-feed chemicals to, and perform invasive surgeries o.
"Air France is now the only remaining major airline that transports primates to be killed in laboratories, and PETA will keep pushing the airline to ground this cruel practice."