Target: United Airlines CEO Jeffrey Smisek
Goal: Don’t bow to pressure to ship research animals from the biotech industry and Continental Airlines
United Airlines has always refused to ship research animals, such as primates, in their planes. But their recent merger with Continental Airlines, as well as pressure from the biotech industry, has them reconsidering their policy. Tell United Airlines to stand strong and refuse to take any part in the brutal practice of animal testing.
Many major airlines provide transportation of research animals to places like the United States where they are used in laboratory tests, usually conducting medical research. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service claims that the number of primates imported to the U.S. has doubled in the past decade and the number of captured young primates born to wild mothers has quadrupled. Infant primates are taken away from their mothers, packed into small crates and then shipped for days to their final destination: a research laboratory where they will most likely endure more pain, suffering and even death. An estimated 1% of primates die in quarantine facilities, having acquired health complications while en route to their destination.
These numbers don’t even shed light on the devastating effects of animal testing on wild primate populations. Nor do they give insight to the painful, unnecessary and inhumane nature of the things that occur in these laboratories. Tell United Airlines that by shipping research animals, they would be perpetuating the cruelty of animal testing. Tell new CEO Jeffrey Smisek that United Airlines should remain committed to animal welfare and refuse to ship research animals.
Dear Mr. Jeffrey Smisek,
The recent merger of United Airlines and Continental makes you the CEO of one of the most powerful and influential airline companies in the world. As the stewards of international travel and trade, airlines must make sure to be aware of all the ethical issues that may be affected by their business. The transportation of research animals is one of those issues. Before the merger, United Airlines had held strong in their refusal to transport animals, such as primates, to countries like the United States. As the new CEO of the combined airline, we ask that you remain committed to the welfare of animals across the world and continue to prohibit your planes from carrying research animals.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service estimates that the number of primates being imported into the United States has doubled in the last decade. Many of these primates are young animals who are taken from their mothers in the wild, stuffed into cages and then shipped around the world for days at a time. An estimated 1% of these primates die in quarantine facilities from health problems that they have acquired during travel. The ones that survive are shipped to laboratories where they are used in inhumane and unnecessary experiments. It is a sad and awful journey. We know that the biotech industry is pressuring you to resume shipping these animals, but we ask that you use your influence as a CEO to send the clear message that you will not participate in and perpetuate the cruel practice of animal testing. Your passengers will respect you more and you will make a responsible and ethical choice.
[Your Name Here]