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El-Al to stop shipping monkeys used for scientific testing

The Israeli airline announced this week it will no longer carry monkeys after the High Court of Israel ruled against a monkey-breeding farm's shipment to the US.

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An activist protesting against vivisection, dressed up as a monkey, demonstrates in a cage in front of an Air France KLM agency near the Opera Garnier to ask the airplane company to stop the transportation of laboratory animals used for experimentations, on February 4, 2012 in Paris. (Francois Guillot/AFP/Getty Images)

El-Al announced this week that it would no longer ship monkeys used for animal testing, after Israel's high court ruled against money-breeding farm Mazor's shipment of wild-caught monkeys to the US. 

In a letter addressed to Jonathan Shpigel, a lawyer with the Israeli animal-advocacy group Let the Animals Live, an El-Al spokesperson wrote that “El-Al will not fly monkeys meant to be used for experiments. Period," Nature.com reported

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The decision by El-Al follows a High Court case against Israel's Mazor monkey breeding farm, Ha'aretz reported. The court had banned the export of 50 monkeys born in the wild to Shin Nippon Biomedical Laboratories in Everett, Washington, according to the Israeli newspaper. 

However, the decision still allowed the shipment of an additional 40 monkeys who were bred by Mazor, according to Ha'aretz. Those monkeys were going to be flown by El-Al. 

Activists, including People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) launched a campaign to prevent the airline from aiding in the money's shipment, according to Nature.com.

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"After PETA asked supporters to contact El Al Airlines and urge the company to cancel this shipment, the airline received more than 10,000 e-mails and posts on its Facebook wall," PETA wrote in a blog post. "El Al has now announced that it will not transport these 40 monkeys."  

However, some activists are skeptical that the airline will stay true to its word. 

“The significant thing would be if they would stick to it," Shpigel told Nature.com. 

Neither El-Al officials nor a lawyer for Mazor Farm could be reached for comment on Friday afternoon, Nature reported. 

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/middle-east/israel-and-palestine/120622/el-al-stop-shipping-test-monkeys