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PETA Takes Aim at Scandinavian Airline SAS Over its Policy of Transporting ‘Dogs To Their Deaths’ for Lab Testing

PETA Takes Aim at Scandinavian Airline SAS Over its Policy of Transporting ‘Dogs To Their Deaths’ for Lab Testing

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Scandinavian airline SAS has been accused of transporting thousands of dogs from the United States to animal testing labs across Europe, according to an undercover investigation carried out by animal rights group PETA.

Documents seen by PETA suggest SAS is one of several airlines that have helped to ship around 5,300 beagles since 2021 from the United States to be used in animal testing in Europe.

The airline has also been accused of helping to transport dogs from another breeding center in the US, which was eventually closed after allegations of dozens of violations of animal welfare laws were unearthed.

PETA believes some of the dogs were sent to facilities owned by Charles River Laboratories, which has labs in Hungary, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom.

Charles River is accused of carrying out “painful tests” on animals which include “force-feeding them test compounds, smearing experimental chemicals onto their shaved skin, and forcing them to inhale toxic substances”.

In an open letter to SAS chief executive Anko van der Werff, PETA urged the airline to terminate its contract with animal testing companies, saying that many of its international competitors already refused to transport animals for testing.

Airlines such as British Airways, Aer Lingus, Qantas, EVA Air, and Cathay Pacific, along with cargo companies like FedEx Express and Cargolux, already refuse to transport animals for lab testing.

“While we understand that your airline is committed to providing essential services and connecting people and goods across the globe, we believe the transfer of dogs from breeding facilities in the United States to laboratories in Europe contributes to the suffering and exploitation of vulnerable animals,” the letter to van der Werff implored.

“The inhumane conditions and practices prevalent in breeding facilities can lead to immense distress, health issues, and neglect for these animals. The subsequent transport to testing laboratories only adds to their suffering as they are tormented and killed in painful tests,” the letter continued.

While SAS is one of only a number of airlines that are implicated in transporting dogs for animal testing in Europe, PETA believes the airline is responsible for the majority of recent shipments.

SAS did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

PETA says its campaigning was responsible for several airlines deciding to refuse to ship animals destined for laboratories. All commercial airlines already refuse to transport primates for animal testing, while German flag carrier Lufthansa has also banned shipments of cats and dogs for testing.

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