Air France Flies Monkeys to Lab Cruelty
An Animal Rights Article from


Last Chance for Animals (LCA)
April 2014

ACTION ALERT: Air France Flies Monkeys to Lab Cruelty

Air France monkeys vivisection
Long-tailed Mauritius macaques

Air France, the last major European airline to ship non-human primates, transports tens of thousands of primates a year for cruel and invasive animal experimentation. Air France passenger and Air France-KLM cargo planes transport monkeys, often stolen from wild habitats in Vietnam and the Republic of Mauritius. Although United Airlines and China Eastern Airlines stopped transporting primates in early 2013, Air France, Philippine Airlines and China Southern continue to transport them.

Discreetly loaded onto the cargo hold of the passenger planes, the monkeys and their babies, jammed in tiny wooden crates measuring 4ft x 1.4ft x 1.6ft, travel for 30 hours or more underneath unsuspecting Air France passengers. Many terrified monkeys die during the grueling international flights, suffering from stress, trauma, dehydration, parasitic worm infestation and intestinal hemorrhaging.

Air France monkeys vivisection
Air France primate cargo
(photo courtesy of British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection BUAV)

The majority of monkeys transported for research are long-tailed macaques who have resided on Mauritius for over 400 years when they were brought over by Portuguese sailors. In high demand by the American and European research industries, more than 10,000 macaques priced at $4,000 each are exported from Mauritius each year. Air France is the main commercial airline responsible for the transport.

Air France monkeys vivisection
Baby macaque in research facility
(Photo courtesy of Brian Gunn)

Hired by trapping and breeding companies in Mauritius such as Noveprim, Ltd. and Bioculture Mauritius, Ltd., trappers kidnap and split these highly intelligent and social monkeys from their families by luring them into cages baited with sugar cane and bananas during the winter when it is more difficult to find food. The monkeys are then kept in large breeding facilities before they are exported to research facilities in the US, UK, Spain and France.

Air France continues to transport primates despite public outcry and pressure from animal advocacy organizations. Air France Board of Directors member, Jean-Francois Dehecq, is also the Chairman of the Board of Directors of Sanofi-Aventis, a French pharmaceutical company.

Air France monkeys vivisection
Macaque in testing facility
(Photo courtesy of Brian Gunn)

Behind the confines of testing facilities, monkeys are victims of torment, torture and inhumane procedures, facing horrors such as mutilation, poisoning, food deprivation, imposed infections from painful diseases, drug addiction and psychological torment. Driven mentally ill by the stress and terror of being locked in barren steel cages, many monkeys are known to exhibit behavior of spinning and rocking incessantly, ripping out their hair and biting into their own flesh.

Air France monkeys vivisection
Captive macaques in a research facility
(Photo courtesy of Brian Gunn)

“The public tide is turning against the use of non-human primates in general, and researchers must either find alternatives or convince the public there is a compelling reason to continue such research,” says Paul Root Wolpe, director of the Center for Ethics at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia, which is home to the Yerkes National Primate Research Center. “If scientists don’t make a louder, more persuasive public case,” he says, “more companies — not only in transportation — will choose the side of animal-rights advocates.”

On May 15th, 2013 LCA's Air France Monkey Business billboard went up just minutes away from LAX on Century Blvd and La Cienega Blvd. The billboard is 20' by 50' and is highly visible to traffic going into the airport from Los Angeles. The huge billboard is a giant humiliation for Air France, linking them to the vivisection industry.

air france monkeys vivisection

On May 23rd 2013, LCA's second billboard went up on the heavily trafficked Sunset Boulevard in the Silverlake area of Los Angeles. The billboard is stylized with graffiti with the Air of Air France crossed out and replaced with the word Scare.

Air France monkeys vivisection

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