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Experimentation animale

JUSTICE FOR THE BABY PRIMATES TRANSPORTED BY AIR FRANCE

Thanks to the hard work and determination of Dr Shirley McGreal, chairwoman of the International Primate Protection League (IPPL), five years after the facts justice will at last be done for the baby monkeys that Air France flew to vivisection laboratories.

In 1997, an eyewitness alerted Dr McGreal after spotting dozens of baby monkeys in crates at Chicago airport, when American legislation forbids transportation of young animals.

Dr McGreal managed to obtain documents pertaining to shipments of primates in April and May 1997. These proved that in addition to infant primates, wild-caught monkeys had been transported with fraudulent documents, claiming they were captive-born. (Shirley McGreal is at the origin of the photo of Thomas, our emblem in the O of One Voice).

THE ACCUSED FACE LONG PRISON TERMS

This marked the beginning of a five-year courtroom battle. On April 3rd 2002, the company that supplies primates to laboratories (LABS) and three of its officials were brought before the court. According to a communiqué from the US ministry of justice, they have been charged on four counts: falsification of registers (for which they risk a five-year prison sentence and a $250,000 fine); trafficking wildlife; importation violation; and transportation of animals in violation of animal protection laws.

According to Patrick J. Fitzgerald, US Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois, “This office treats seriously the obligation of importers of wildlife to honor laws and regulations designed to protect certain species and to insure their safe and humane transport.”

THE RESPONSIBILITY OF AIR FRANCE

The fourth accusation should incite Air France to stop claiming that primates “travel” comfortably in its planes’ holds. Regulations require that the crates are not opened during transportation, which can mean days on end. In these circumstances, how can anyone claim the animals are “comfortable”, fed or watered? Air France remains one of the few airlines (most now having ceased this despicable commerce) to still transport primates for laboratory experimentation.

Translation: Sandra Petch

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