Animal Defenders International


Animal Defenders International

Israeli court rules airline cannot be forced to take primates for research

Posted: 4 October 2013. Updated: 13 December 2018

ADI welcomed reports that a District Court in Tel Aviv ruled on Tuesday that El Al, Israel’s national airline, could not be forced to fly monkeys abroad for research purposes.

El Al brought the lawsuit against Mazor Farm, which houses about 2,000 macaques in Israel, as a previous court decision obliged El Al to carry the primates. Mazor Farm in Israel is a notorious monkey breeder, supplying the vivisection industry, importing wild-caught monkeys from Mauritius, then selling their offspring to labs around the world.

The judge wrote that "El Al’s decision to distinguish between flying animals for purposes that the public considers positive, such as zoos, and flying animals for the purposes of medical experiments, is a proper distinction, and it is reflected in the new regulations for protecting wild animals, which forbid the export of monkeys unless for purposes of ‘protecting nature, rehabilitation and rescue or education and display.’"

The judge also stated that "The very fact that many airlines refuse to transport monkeys for the purpose of medical research demonstrates the reasonableness of El Al’s decision to stop flying the monkeys".

In June 2012 restrictions were placed on the export of monkeys from the facility. However, Mazor Farm still remained open. Media reports in January 2013 announced that the Attorney General supported calls to ban the import and export of monkeys to Mazor Farm but that there was no legal justification to bar the use of primates for medical research within Israel itself.

Reports state that an estimated 1,000 monkeys being kept on the farm cannot be sold to foreign laboratories. For some animals this is because they were caught in the wild and other animals are considered too old to be wanted by the laboratories.

Monkeys born in Mazor Farm find freedom

Betty, Boo and Baloo (the “3Bs”) were born in Mazor Farm to parents torn from the wild. When the “3Bs” were 2 years old they were shipped off to a major European lab to be used for neurology experiments. When they were deemed no longer of use, the monkeys were destined to be killed but ADI heard of their fateful plight and were able to negotiate their freedom. Now these three little monkeys enjoy a life of sanctuary, in a woodland setting in the UK, safe and happy, their days in the lab now far behind them.

Take action!

  • Read more about this issue here
  • Adopt the 3Bs here

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