Animal welfare is the need of the hour and an unsaid responsibility that sits with all of us. And taking it up rather seriously is Air France. One of the last major airlines involved in the transportation of monkeys that are used for research purposes has recently announced that it will no longer do the job. Until now, the airline has been transporting monkeys from the Indian Ocean Island nation of Mauritius. However, it tweeted last week in French that it will stop “as soon as its current contractual commitments with research organizations come to an end.”
Commenting on it, Kirk Leech, executive director of the European Animal Research Association (EARA), in a statement said, “In the accelerated effort to develop Covid-19 vaccines, monkeys played a critical role in ensuring the safety and efficacy of all the successful vaccines that are now in widespread use.” According to him, the restricted access to monkeys within the biomedical sector could “severely” limit research progress in developing life-saving medicines. However, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) rejoiced in the airline’s decision instead.
The demand for monkeys has risen in recent years, with COVID-19 research further adding to it. Remarking further, Leech said, “Ultimately, the way to get around this problem is to breed them locally,” while predicting that “this shortage is going to drive out innovation from the sector.”