Animal rights hurt medical research by insisting on lab animal flight ban
MAJOR airlines, pressured by largely female animal rights lobbyists, are resisting the international scientific community by upholding their ban on flying lab animals for testing
MAJOR airlines, pressured by largely female animal rights lobbyists, are resisting the international scientific community by upholding their ban on flying lab animals for testing.
'Airlines that transport animals to and from laboratory testing facilities have been targeted by animal rights groups with protests and other activities that have caused service disruptions to the travelling public,' the airlines said.
'In addition to presenting potential safety risks for passengers, protests can affect airlines' operations and business functions,'' said the airlines joint statement, Bloomberg reports.
US laboratories kept as many as 76,000 non-human primates last year, according to the US Department of Agriculture. Many of the animals came from China, the top supplier of cynomolgus macaques, a common type of primate used in research.
The US Department of Transportation is now reviewing more than 20,000 comments from various sources before making a ruling on the question.
'The number of air carriers willing to carry research animals has dwindled to the point that biomedical research around the world is running out of options,' said National Association for Biomedical Research (NABR) president Matthew Bailey.
The NABR accuses China Southern, United, British Airways and Qatar Airways of illegally refusing to transport lab animals such as the non-human primates used in live research trials. To which the airlines say they have the right to refuse cargo they do not want.
The NABR says airlines carry pets or animals destined for zoos and sanctuaries. Refusing to fly lab animals is hampering research needed to develop medicines, according to complaint supported Novartis, Johns Hopkins University and actor Michael J Fox's foundation for Parkinson's disease research. NABR supporters include Pfizer and Harvard University.