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Airlines Accused of Discrimination for Banning Lab Monkeys

  • Many carriers won’t transport animals used for research
  • Drug companies, universities file complaint with US government
A macaque is fed in its cage.
A macaque is fed in its cage.Photographer: Friso Gentsch/picture-alliance/dpa/AP Photo

A deadline is approaching in the fight by researchers to fly their monkeys on airplanes. On one side are some of the world’s biggest airlines, while on the other are prominent drug companies like Pfizer Inc. and universities including Harvard.

In a complaint filed with the U.S. government, Washington-based nonprofit the National Association for Biomedical Research accuses China Southern Airlines Co., United Airlines Inc., British Airways Plc and Qatar Airways of illegally refusing to transport lab animals such as the non-human primates used in live research trials.