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ARFF has learned the results of a complaint we filed with the U.S. Department of Agriculture following the June 2 importation of 64 wild-caught vervet monkeys from the Caribbean island of St. Kitts.

The monkeys arrived on a Monarch Air Group flight at Miami International Airport. The plane was met by a company called Animal Air Service, and upon unloading the monkeys were driven by truck to Primate Products where they spent at least 31 days in quarantine. (The monkeys were imported by Three Springs Scientific, a company that sells animals to research facilities.)

The Animal Welfare Act makes it very clear that enterprises involved in the transportation of “regulated animals” such as monkeys must have a USDA license. Monarch Air Group was not licensed. ARFF filed a complaint and upon investigation, the USDA cited Monarch Air for violating the Animal Welfare Act (click here to download USDA documents related to the citation).

The Animal Welfare Act is the primary federal law governing the use of animals in research. The law sets minimum standards of care to protect animals from inhumane treatment and neglect. It is shocking that Primate Products and/or Three Springs Scientific apparently chose to disregard the Animal Welfare Act and hire an airline that not only was unlicensed, but that had no experience in transporting primates.

The good news is that, following the June shipment, Monarch Air Group promised never again to transport monkeys for research. But we need your help to make sure that Animal Air Service is more careful about who they do business with!

Animal Air Service is licensed with the USDA as an “Intermediate Handler,” which means they take custody of animals between the carrier and the dealer. Animal Air Service’s main business is helping in the import/export of horses and livestock.

Please contact Animal Air Service and urge the company to ensure that any future flights they assist with involve properly licensed carriers. You may also want to suggest that they not do business in the future with companies like Primate Products or Three Springs Scientific. Contact:

Rique Valdivieso, President
Animal Air Service, Inc.
Phone: (786) 331-9801
E-mail: animalair@live.com

One Response to “Florida airline cited for violating Animal Welfare Act”

  1. on 16 Jul 2012 at 11:23 pm linda manzione young

    i am so impressed with the work you do that i am going to respond to several of the companies that you mention on your website that are involved in transporting primates and other animals for the sake of experimentation. i was appalled that a veterinarian signed certificates that animals passed a physical and were healthy enough to be shipped. so outrageous that i’m going to write to him too. thank you so much .. i’ve been wanting to volunteer for a cause and now i found it!! The guy named James that teaches about being a vegan is to be thanked for turning me on to ARRF. Can you tell me if there is a similar foundation in Northern Calif? I live in San Jose, CA and would like to know what’s here. I did a google search but didnt find anything local. Thanks.

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