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Africa’s Largest Airline Accused of Flying Hundreds of Endangered Monkeys to the United States For Use in Animal Testing

Africa’s Largest Airline Accused of Flying Hundreds of Endangered Monkeys to the United States For Use in Animal Testing

a monkey in the air

Africa’s largest airline has been accused of shipping hundreds of endangered monkeys to the United States for use in animal testing, according to animal rights group PETA, which also claims Ethiopian Airlines “appears to have ties to an alleged illegal international monkey-smuggling ring”.

PETA says Ethiopian Airlines “reportedly” transported 250 long-tailed macaques from Ethiopia to the United States. The endangered primates were then transported to animal testing labs.

Ethiopian Airlines has previously told PETA that the carrier does not transport monkeys as per policy, but PETA disputes that claim and alleges that the monkeys are “packed into tiny wooden shipping crates and forced to sit in their own faeces, urine, and blood for hours-long journeys”.

The infamous animal rights organization also says that Ethiopian Airlines was twice cited by the U.S. Department of Agriculture in 2023 over its monkey transport operation.

In January 2023, Ethiopian Airlines was accused of shipping 584 monkeys into the U.S. without mandatory health certificates, while in July 2023, PETA said Ethiopian Airlines was cited for failing to give airport ground crew proper feeding and watering instructions.

During the shipping process, 336 monkeys were unloaded from a plane in Georgia and left in 85-degree heat for over an hour and a half, PETA alleges.

Many of the monkeys originate in Mauritius, although animal testing labs are finding it increasingly difficult to find airlines willing to transport these animals.

In 2022, Kenya Airways said it would no longer transport long-tailed macaque monkeys from the Indian Ocean country after a shipment of these animals was involved in a road traffic accident in Pennsylvania.

Four of the monkeys managed to escape from their cage after the truck transporting them from New York JFK to a quarantine facility in Florida crashed on Route 54 near I-80 in rural Pennsylvania.

An innocent woman who was in a car behind the crash went to help but started feeling ill several days after coming into contact with the monkeys. She had gone to see what was in the crate but ended up with an eyeful of monkey saliva and developed a cough and an infected eye.

Last year, PETA blasted Scandinavian airline SAS over its alleged involvement in transporting dogs for use in animal testing from the United States to labs in Europe.

Many airlines, including British Airways, Aer Lingus, Qantas, EVA Air, and Cathay Pacific, and cargo companies like FedEx Express and Cargolux, already refuse to transport animals for lab testing.

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