BA faces legal challenge for refusing to fly lab animals
British Airways and other airlines are facing a legal challenge from scientists to try to end the blockade on flying animals for research.
Although airlines carry animals if they are pets or for zoos, campaigning by animal-rights activists has meant that almost all refuse to take them if they are for medical research.
Scientists have found it increasingly hard to access the animals that they say they need to perform research into diseases such as muscular dystrophy and Parkinson’s.
Now the US National Association for Biomedical Research, a non-profit organisation representing animal researchers, has filed a complaint with the US Department of Transport.
It argues that by excluding research animals but taking the same species if they are for other purposes, four carriers including British Airways are breaking rules concerning discrimination. “There’s been a haemorrhaging of airlines over the past 10-12 years,” said Kirk Leech, from the European Animal Research Association. “Their refusal is . . . based on potential PR problems.”
This story has also now been covered by The Scientist: