Kenya Airways to stop transporting monkeys from Mauritius to US labs

Monday January 31 2022

Kenya Airways will not renew its contract with a Mauritius breeding farm to transport monkeys from the Indian Ocean island to the US, Chairman Michael Joseph says. PHOTO | FILE


Kenya Airways will not renew its contract with a Mauritius breeding farm to transport monkeys from the Indian Ocean island to United States (US) to be used in laboratory experiments, the national carrier has announced.

“We will not renew the contract that expires at the end of February,” KQ Chairman Michael Joseph told Business Daily in an interview.

The announcement comes a few days after hundreds of monkeys spilled onto a Pennsylvania highway last Friday following a truck crash.

The truck was ferrying the monkeys from John F. Kennedy International Airport a few hours after they were delivered by Kenya Airways.

Following the incident, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) US, an animal rights group, contacted Kenya Airways CEO Allan Kivuka and Mr Joseph, over the treatment of monkeys.

PETA urged KQ to reconsider subjecting the monkeys to long flights then going to be used in laboratories for experiments that could cause them torture and lead to their death.


In response to PETA, Mr Joseph said, “The current contract for the transport of the Macaques (captive bred for export) will not be renewed when it expires at the end of February.” 

Importing monkeys for experimentation is carried out with almost no oversight. Monkeys arrive by plane from Asia or Africa after enduring sometimes days-long trips.

They’re then transported in trucks to undisclosed quarantine sites before being sent to laboratories across the US.

PETA Vice President Dr Alka Chandna said the non-renewal of the transport contract is a relief to animal rights’ group.

“Kenya Airways’ decision is important for all of us because the global transportation of monkeys also risks the possibility of emerging infectious diseases,” said Dr Chandna.

PETA says that the use of animals in experiments is failing to provide treatments and cures for humans, with studies showing that 95 percent of new medications that test safe and effective on animals fail in human clinical trials.

PETA scientists have developed the Research Modernisation Deal, which provides a strategy for ending the use of animals in experiments and instead improving biomedical research.

- Additional reporting by Business Daily.