Brigitte Bardot has joined the European Coalition to End Animal Experiments (ECEAE), a coalition of leading animal protection organisations from across Europe, in calling on Air France to end its involvement in the cruel trade of monkeys for research.

The former model, singer and actress who set up the Brigitte Bardot Foundation for the welfare and protection of animals in 1986, has written to Air France and asked them to follow other major airlines in adopting a policy to cancel primate shipments.

Air France is now the only major European passenger airline still engaged in the cruel transportation of primates destined for the research industry. Each year, thousands of primates are transported in the cargo holds of Air France planes, and flown around the world to suffer and die in research laboratories.

The ECEAE has been successful in persuading many airlines to stop or oppose the transport of primates for research, including European carriers such as British Airways, Lufthansa, Czech Airlines, Finnair, Alitalia, Iberia, Swiss International Airlines and Brussels Airlines as well as non-European carriers including American Airlines, Delta Airlines, Eva Air, Northwest Airlines, South African Airways, United Airlines and China Airlines.

Air France transports monkeys from countries such as Mauritius to the research laboratories of Europe and the USA. The tropical island paradise of Mauritius remains one of the world’s largest suppliers of primates for research. Thousands of monkeys captured from the wild are kept in concrete pens on the island for breeding. Their offspring are then shipped around the world.

Brigitte Bardot said: “In continuing the transportation of monkeys to laboratories, Air France is encouraging horrific experiments on animals. This shameful business tarnishes the company’s image and I urge Air France to review its position. Please don’t let us down.”

Michelle Thew, CEO of the ECEAE said: “We are delighted that Brigitte Bardot has joined the many voices urging Air France to place a permanent embargo on all primate shipments. Air France provides a vital link between Mauritius, one of the world’s largest suppliers of monkeys, and the laboratories of Europe and the USA. Thanks to the campaigns of the ECEAE and growing public opposition, many other major international airlines have stopped their involvement. We now call on Air France to follow this trend and to dissociate itself from this cruel trade.”

For more info on the ECEAE, click here.

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