Lab Canada

Research mammals will miss the flight

Toronto, ON – Shipping research mammals will become more expensive and complex after the announcement that FedEx, UPS and DHL are committing themselves to stop this practice.

In response to the Air Cruelty campaign launched by the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), the world’s three largest air cargo carriers have decided to stop or severely limit the transportation of research mammals.

According to the release, “UPS adopted a worldwide ban on transporting animals destined for laboratory experiments. FedEx and DHL have also confirmed to PETA that they have policies in place that ban the shipment of live animals to laboratories.”

This comes on the heel of the news that in January, 2012, Canada’s larges air carrier, Air Canada, is taking steps to end the shipments of monkeys for research and that the “airline has requested permission from the Canadian Transportation Agency (CTA) to enact a ban on transporting primates destined for experiments, a practice that the CTA currently requires Air Canada to engage in.”

Most likely there will be some impact “driving up the cost of research which is already horribly expensive,” according to Dr. George Harapa, university veterinarian at the University of Toronto. “Researchers collaborate with other people and they get animals from Europe or South America the States those animals are transported in, But that’s a small percentage of animals that are used,” he said. “There are other carriers, they have not all gotten out of it. If they all got out that would complicate things especially in the States where they do a lot more research. Certainly any time you have any kind of impediment to transfer animals it may drive up the cost.”

Although it is reported that none of the courier companies transports large numbers of lab animals, PETA states that they “sought the carriers’ written assurances as a way to foreclose alternatives for lab-animal breeders and their customers, who are increasingly being confronted with bans on transport by passenger airlines.”