Egyptair joins several other airlines around the world, including Air France, United Airlines, and Air China, that have also promised to stop transporting monkeys to testing laboratories.
Back in April, Egyptair came under fire from activists after it reportedly transported 720 long-tailed macaques to JFK airport in New York.
From there, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) claims they were likely driven to quarantine in Texas before they were used in research and toxicity testing.
It's not an isolated incident. Every year, tens of thousands of primates are transported for testing purposes. According to Cruelty Free International (CFI), they are separated from their families and "crammed into small wooden transit crates."
CFI's director of public affairs Kerry Postlewhite said in a statement that the organization "applauds" Egyptair for "doing the right thing" and not renewing its contract for monkey transportation.
"Making these intelligent, sentient animals endure a nightmare journey followed by life in a metal cage subjected to cruel experiments cannot go on," she added.
"The cruel trade in monkeys for research and testing must end.”
The impact of animal testing
From rabbits to rats, millions of animals are tested on every single year. Not only is it cruel, but it is also detrimental to the environment.
Long-tailed macaques, for example, were recently classified as endangered by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
The union's Red List has several categories, which range from Least Concern to Extinct. Last assessed in March 2022, long-tailed macaques were previously categorized as Vulnerable in 2020 and 2021, which means that they were facing a "high risk of extinction in the wild."
The Endangered category indicates that they are now facing a "very high risk of extinction in the wild."
To try and prevent more monkeys from entering the testing trade, PETA is now calling for Spanish airline Wamos Air (which flew more than 700 monkeys earlier this year) to stop transporting animals for research and testing.
The organization's petition to encourage the airline to end the practice has already gathered more than 94,500 signatures.
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