NABR Press Release Urging Trump Administration to Streamline Research Animal Transportation

Thursday, March 26, 2020

Contact: Eva Maciejewski
Phone: (202) 857-0540

NABR Urges Trump Administration to Streamline Research Animal Transportation

Washington, D.C. - National Association for Biomedical Research President Matthew R. Bailey issued the following statement regarding the need to streamline transportation of animals used domestically in medical research, particularly during the current coronavirus pandemic.

On March 18, 2020, NABR sent a letter to Vice President Mike Pence and Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao urging the Trump administration to streamline transportation of animals used domestically in medical research. NABR’s letter states that the proclamation of a national emergency regarding the coronavirus pandemic underscores the importance of streamlining animal research to develop vaccines and cures for the novel coronavirus and other dangerous diseases. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is testing antiviral medications in an effort to develop treatments and cures for the coronavirus. Research such as this must be expedited and streamlined to prevent the spread of infectious diseases and to save human lives.

“Access to laboratory animals is necessary to develop and ensure the safety of drugs and medical devices. Research animals are vital to understanding the genetic and molecular pathways that lead to disease, promising areas for research leading to new treatments for devasting diseases,” stated Bailey.

“Laboratory animals used in medical research are purpose bred under controlled conditions with highly defined health status. We urge the Trump administration to take immediate action to eliminate policies that discriminate against transportation of animals intended for research if they are to operate in the airspace of the United States,” he continued. “Urgent action is needed to address the detrimental effect current airline policies are having on vital research programs.”

Presently, medical researchers in the United States must rely on foreign airlines to transport many animals used in medical research due to the pressure tactics of PETA and other animal rights groups. Even in the midst of the coronavirus crisis, these groups continue to pressure airlines that are aiding American efforts to develop treatments for the disease.

Australian Senate Rejects Legislation Banning the Importation of Primates for Research

As you know, the transportation of lab animals for lifesaving and life-improving biomedical research is an important concern for the scientific community.  Animal rights activists opposing animal research have made it a target in their ongoing efforts to curtail medical progress for both humans and animals and these efforts have not been based solely focused on the United States.  Just last week, the Australian Senate decided not to pass legislation that would have prohibited the importation of nonhuman primates (NHP) for biomedical research.

This proposal was made late last year based on concerns that primates being imported into the country were wild-caught and that there was no need for importation given the fact that breeding colonies already existed in Australia.  The importation of wild-caught NHP’s is already prohibited in Australia.  A report by the Australian Senate even noted that passage of this legislation was the first step towards outlawing animal research in that country.  After hearing common-sense arguments from scientists in Australia and across the globe, legislators in Australia rejected the bill.

To read more about this important development, please read the report by the European Animal Research Association (EARA).  Please take a moment to visit NABR’s page on transportation, “No Cargo, No Cure,” to learn more about the transportation of animals for research.

Lab Animal Transportation FAQ’s Now Available on

Recently, those who oppose animal research have engaged in harassment, protests, and public smear campaigns to end the transportation of laboratory animals even though they play an indispensable role in human and veterinary research.  To assist the research community in presenting factual information on laboratory animal research, NABR has just added a new page to its website, FAQ’s on Transportation of Lab Animals, to help educate the public and members of the media.

These FAQ’s cover several different points about the issue of lab animal transport from the necessity of animal research to how they are transported from point A to point B, even discussing the pitfalls of eliminating this important piece of the research puzzle. The FAQ’s have also been added to NABR’s No Cargo, No Cure page which includes more information on animal transport including support statements from a number of American and international institutions.

We encourage you to share these FAQ’s with your friends, family, colleagues, and on social media.  Please click here to view the FAQ’s or visit NABR’s No Cargo, No Cure page.

Air France CEO Defends Transportation of Research Primates

(An abridged repost from Agence France Presse; "Air France to continue transporting lab monkeys")

May 21, 2015

Air France will continue to transport live monkeys for laboratory testing, the airline's CEO Alexandre de Juniac said at an Air-France-KLM shareholders' meeting held as animal rights activists protested nearby.

Juniac, who was re-elected by shareholders to remain at the helm of the French-Dutch company, said in response to an activist's question that the airline would defend the practice as long as it served the interests of science.
At the protest some of the around 30 activists donned monkey costumes and locked themselves up in a cage.

Challenged on the issue by a member of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), Juniac said his company has sought advice from experts who believe "experimenting on primates with a similar genetic ancestry to human beings is indispensable" to research.
"So long as medical research for the improvement of human health requires these experiments, we will continue to transport them," he lashed out.

Juniac also said Air France applies relevant regulations and ensures the animals are well treated...

‘Air Transport: No Cargo, No Cure,’ New Section on NABR Website

NABR has added an important new section to its website titled, Air Transport: No Cargo, No Cure.

Opponents to animal research have engaged in tactics of harassment, protests, and public smear campaigns in an effort to end the transportation of vital animal models involved in studies worldwide, which stand to better both human and animal health. A lack of availability of certain research animal models could mean the future of medical progress is jeopardized. That’s why medical research organizations have begun speaking out regarding the imperative nature of research animal transportation.

To read official statements from such organizations, as well as to learn more about the safe transport of research animals by air and why it is such a critical issue, please see the resources provided at the Air Transport: No Cargo, No Cure page. If you have comments or suggested additions for this section, please let us know at