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Egyptair stops transporting monkeys for research

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Long-tailed macaques, Cambodia breeding facility

Airline confirms end of monkey shipments – but thousands of monkeys continue to suffer

We are delighted that Egyptair, the state-owned airline of Egypt, has confirmed that it has not renewed its contract to transport monkeys to laboratories.

Egyptair now joins the growing list of airlines ending their involvement in the global trade in non-human primates for research and toxicity testing, after years of campaigning by Cruelty Free International and other animal protection organisations. Air France and Kenya Airways have also recently ended their transportation of non-human primates.

Egyptair's role in transporting monkeys was first revealed by Action for Primates in March 2022, after contact from a concerned airport worker. Since then, the airline has shipped many thousands of long-tailed macaques, including from Vietnam and Mauritius, but primarily from Cambodia to the US via Cairo, with the monkeys enduring a gruelling and traumatic ordeal of over 20 hours flying time and a five-to-six hour stop-over.

The global trade and transportation of non-human primates for research and toxicity testing is an industry steeped in suffering, with tens of thousands of monkeys transported every year to laboratories around the world. Our investigation team revealed in 2017 how monkeys are transported as cargo, torn from their families and crammed into small wooden transit crates.

The conservation status of the long-tailed macaque was recently upgraded to endangered on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species. There are concerns about the future of the species if action is not taken now to protect it.

Many thousands of monkeys are still used in tests each year around the world, the majority in regulatory tests: legally required tests in which animals are forced to ingest or inhale products or have them applied to their skin or injected into their bodies, sometimes daily for weeks or months. 

Kerry Postlewhite, our Director of Public Affairs, says: “We applaud Egyptair for doing the right thing. Making these intelligent, sentient animals endure a nightmare journey followed by life in a metal cage subjected to cruel experiments cannot go on. The cruel trade in monkeys for research and testing must end.”

If you are a citizen of an EU member state, you can help stop experiments on monkeys and other animals by adding your support for the end of animal testing in Europe â€“ and if you have already signed, please ask your friends and family in the EU to join you.