The announcement by Air France, that the airline intends to end its transportation of monkeys is expected to add to the crisis already threatening their future use in European biomedical research.
In a statement, EARA has described the airline’s decision as part of a ‘perfect storm’ for the sector.
This includes the ban on the export of research monkeys by China, and a forthcoming restriction by the European Commission on the biomedical use of first generation-bred primates - expected by the end of this year. It also follows a proposal by the Dutch government to reduce the use of monkeys in research by 40%.
EARA executive director, Kirk Leech, said: "Air France played a vital and life-saving role in the supply chain of non-human primates for global research that are essential for drug, vaccine, and therapeutic developments for human health.
“In the accelerated effort to develop Covid-19 vaccines, monkeys played a critical role in ensuring the safety and efficacy of all the successful vaccines that are now in widespread use.
“On behalf of the research sector, and the millions of citizens who have benefited from research facilitated by Air France's transport of monkeys, we thank the airline for its past support.”