Transporting Live Animals For Research Is “Plane” Wrong

Posted by 7 years ago | Permalink | Comments (8)

Lufthansa Transports Cats and DogsOne of the great things about working for PETA is being able to bring about swift progress for animals, often through co-ordinated efforts with PETA’s international affiliates. A superb example of this arose very recently when PETA and our affiliates obtained photographs of dogs at an American airport being flown on a German plane to face experiments in a laboratory right here in the UK. More than 50 beagles are shown in the photographs, and the freight labels (because they are just “freight” to the airline) identify them as heading for Charles River Laboratories’ contract testing facility in Scotland, just outside Edinburgh. They were sourced from Marshall Farms, a firm supplying animals for laboratories in New York state.

This is a classic example of the global scale of the animal experimentation industry. US-based Charles River (CRL) is a billion-dollar-a-year multinational company that both supplies animals to other laboratories and undertakes contract experimentation itself. Marshall Farms is a supplier of dogs, pigs and ferrets for laboratories across the world. To both companies, animals are simply products. It’s a surreal and sobering experience to look at the marketing literature and product catalogues of companies in this business and see photographs of living animals accompanied by sales blurbs outlining their features, cost per unit, delivery details and a variety of other facts and figures, as though they were no more than models of photocopiers.

For Lufthansa, the airline carrying the dogs, the situation is a little different, of course. While Marshall and CRL are up to their necks in this dirty business, for an airline it’s just one revenue stream out of many. And that’s where PETA and our affiliates came in. PETA US, PETA Germany and PETA UK  co-ordinated their actions, each sending letters to their national divisions of Lufthansa, each preparing media releases for their national media highlighting the key issues and, crucially, each mobilising their supporters to take action on  the same day. And what a day it was.

As I was sitting right here at my desk, a flurry of e-mails started appearing mid-morning from PETA  Germany and PETA US reporting that Lufthansa had reached out to them. At the same time, Matt from our online marketing team was reporting to me that hundreds and then thousands of e-mails had been sent to Lufthansa’s UK general manager using the action alert on our website here in the UK. By the end of the business day, one thing was clear: Lufthansa was going to stop transporting dogs and cats to laboratories, just like that.

It was one of the quickest victories I’ve ever experienced in more than a decade of animal rights campaigning. Of course, it doesn’t stop there. Our friends in the other PETA affiliates are now in discussions with Lufthansa about taking that policy even further and we’ll keep you up to date about that. Here in the UK, we’ll also be taking up the issue with the government once the election is over. But the message is clear: the animal experiment business may be global in reach, but so are PETA and its affilates.



  • Jared commented on April 26, 2010 at 1:38 pm

    Ha, stick it to em PETA – I love hearing when you score a result like this! Bravo to all involved, let’s get them to stop altogether – who’s with me??

  • Bryson commented on April 26, 2010 at 2:16 pm

    Wow PETA – that’s awesome that they backed down so quickly and realised that they shouldn’t be contributing to animal experimentation. Now we all need to stop those experiments happening in the first place!

  • Socorro La Barre commented on April 27, 2010 at 2:28 pm

    I hope that not only Lufthansa,but other airlines will stop shiping Beagles or other kind of animals.
    Sad to say that in 2008 i took my dog (beagle ) to Malpensa Italy,and i use Lufthansa to take him from Miami FL to Malpensa Italy..
    I probably wouldn’t have use Lufthansa if i new what they do with animals,but what is done is done……I am just hoping that Lufthansa will stop transporting any kind of animals..For now i will not use Lufthansa until i am sure that they don’t tranport any kind of animals don’t matter if there cats,dogs ect,ect.
    Thank you for your time.
    Socorro La Barre.

  • John Gibson commented on May 1, 2010 at 2:33 pm

    It horrifies me to know that cats and dogs are shipped by airplane to be experimented on. I would like to thank PETA for its great effort to stop the trafficking of cats and dogs by Lufthansa, but like PETA says this isn’t enough. There is no need to experiment on animals, it is illogical for a living being to suffer so that another living being can be happy, all living beings should be able to find true happiness and get rid of suffering, for all time.

  • KT commented on May 16, 2010 at 1:02 pm

    Great job Peta! We’ll keep fighting against animal experimentation until it’s stopped for good!

  • Margescott commented on June 3, 2010 at 1:42 pm

    Well done …..

  • HatesAnimalTesting commented on July 8, 2010 at 9:29 pm

    im sorry but i absolutley hate animal testing and im crying right now because animals have feelings too you know and what dog would want to sit there breathing in smoke until they die or pass out? seriosusly. its stupid and i absolutley LOVE animals i would do anything to save them

  • Nina Vaughan commented on December 8, 2010 at 10:46 pm

    Fantastic work!

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