Friday 20 May 2022 | 26

An appeal to Air France: stop transporting monkeys to labs!


Mis à jour le 20 June 2022

Air France is a major transporter of non-human primates for research and toxicity testing (poisoning). Each year, the airline transports thousands of monkeys around the world, from Mauritius to Vietnam, flying them to laboratories in Europe and the United States.

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Photo: Air France shipping crates with monkeys inside - Credit Cruelty Free International

One month ago, Action for Primates (UK), One Voice (France) and Stop Camarles (Spain) revealed that on 14 April, on its 473 flight from Mauritius, Air France had transported 100 constrained ‘passengers’ under duress in its hold: monkeys. They had been torn away from their families and social groups before being imprisoned in small crates, heading to Labcorp in the United Kingdom, a research company...

The worldwide trade of non-human primates for research purposes is a cruel and brutal activity responsible for the shipping of tens of thousands of monkeys around the world every year.

A journey towards horror...

Air France flights from Vietnam and from the island of Mauritius to the United States involve flight times of 20 hours or more, plus a stopover in Paris. At the end of their nightmarish journeys, these monkeys, destined to spend their lives in a metal cage thousands of kilometres away from their families, are subjected to experiments and tests that make them suffer in an unimaginable way, with death as the only way out; far from their life of freedom in their homes in the jungle.

Many macaques transported by Air France are intended for European primate supply companies, including Silabe (Simian Laboratory Europe), Bioprim in France and Camarney S.L in Spain. The monkeys are then transferred to laboratories and contractual test facilities throughout Europe, particularly in France, Italy, Germany, and the United Kingdom, where they are intended to be used in toxicity testing, a scientific term meaning that they are poisoned. No more, no less.

Toxicity testing is carried out to evaluate undesirable reactions to medications or chemical products, mainly with the aim of developing commercial products for humans. Monkeys are immobilised and the medications are administered in different ways, including intravenously (directly into the blood stream) or by pumping it through a tube that is forced into their mouth to reach the stomach. Tests such as these involve immense suffering and can lead to vomiting, convulsions, weight loss, internal bleeding, organ failure, and even death. Those who do not die are all killed at the end of the tests to study their organs.

Some recent Air France flights...

On 12 September 2021, sixty long-tailed macaques were exported by Vietnam Monkey Breeding & Development Joint Venture and transported by Air France from Vietnam (Ho Chi Minh) to Paris (Charles de Gaulle). On 10 October 2021, once again sixty more took the same journey. On 13 February 2022, one hundred and twenty went and on 13 March 2022, another eighty.

American Airlines, British Airways, United Airlines, Eva Air, Air Canada, China Airlines, Kenya Airways...

Following international concern, many passenger airline companies put an end to their involvement in this trade by refusing to transport monkeys to laboratories. Other passenger and freight carriers have also declared their intention not to be implicated in this activity. But Air France continues these trips.

We are urging people to consider these monkeys, who could be imprisoned in the baggage hold beneath, terrified, alone, and far from their homes, before using Air France. Instead of this, choose an airline company that refuses to send monkeys thousands of kilometres around the world, for them to end their days suffering and dying in the cold metal cage of a laboratory.

Add your voice to that of Action for Primates, One Voice, and Stop Camarles in our appeal to Air France for them to stop transporting monkeys for research and to join many other airline companies who refuse to play a role in this trade.

Send a message to (download an example message here)
Anne Rigail, Managing Director: anne.rigail@airfrance.fr and copy in: Philippe Boronat: philippe.boronat@airfrance.fr and Guilhem Laurans: gulaurans@airfrance.fr

Translated from the French by Joely Justice

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Comments 26

I accept that publication of my comments is subject to the code of conduct.

Françoise | Wednesday 15 June 2022

C'est affreux, pauvres bêtes à qui on inflige toutes ces horreurs!

marie christine | Wednesday 15 June 2022

Pour faire avancer les choses, dimanche votez pour le mouvement qui prend en compte le bien être animal et l'harmonie avec la nature!

Vi | Tuesday 14 June 2022

N’oublions pas de les afficher sur Facebook et de leur envoyer des messages sur Messenger ! Ça ne doit pas passer à la trappe.

Reglisse | Tuesday 14 June 2022

Arrêtons toutes ces atrocités faites sur les animaux (rats, lapins, chats, chiens, singes...)