“Caribbean Airlines will not accept primates used for laboratory research experimentation and exploitation purposes,” the BUAV said, quoting the airline in a statement issued in London.
As part of its “Cargo Cruelty” campaign, the BUAV has been working to raise awareness about the “unseen passengers”, which travel on flights in cargo destined for research labs around the world.
The BUAV said it has also been working with the Animal Rights Foundation of Florida to urge Caribbean Airlines to “stop supporting this cruel trade”.
BUAV said Caribbean Airlines regularly transported monkeys from Barbados, and St. Kitts and Nevis, which had been taken from their homes and families in the wild and exported for experimentation in biomedical research or for breeding programmes.
“Airlines play a key role in the international trade in primates for research by transporting monkeys from supply facilities in countries such as Mauritius, Vietnam, St Kitts, China and Cambodia, for laboratories around the world,” it said.
“Cruelty and suffering are an intrinsic part of the trade. Some monkeys are taken from the wild; others are the offspring of wild-caught individuals forced into captivity for a lifetime of breeding. All are torn from their family groups, packed into small, wooden crates and shipped as cargo, usually on extremely long journeys for laboratories in the UK, USA, Europe and Japan,” it added.
Michelle Thew, BUAV’s chief executive, said: “We want to thank all our supporters who have taken the time to contact Caribbean Airlines, and the airline itself for making the right decision and ceasing involvement in the cruel trade in primates for research.
“The BUAV will continue its campaign to push for all airlines to prohibit the carriage of primates for this purpose,” she added.