Animals rights activists are claiming victory after a local private airline, Monarch Air Group, agreed to stop shipping primates for research.
Monarch, which runs private passenger and cargo flights from its base in Fort Lauderdale, sent a letter to the animal rights group South Florida SMASH HLS yesterday announcing its decision.
"Per a recent shareholder meeting, Monarch Air Group has decided to seize [sic] the transportation of primates," said the letter signed by company President David Gitman.
"It's just not in the company's interest to be doing that anymore," said a man who answered the phone at Monarch this morning. He declined to give his name.
Activists want airlines to stop shipping animals so that local research companies such as Primate Products will not be able to import monkeys.
Amerijet, another Fort Lauderdale-based cargo shipping company, made a similar announcement in February, ending its primate shipments. Activists had targeted the company with letters, emails, phone calls, and protests outside the homes of Amerijet executives.
Monarch's decision came soon after activists began bombarding the company with similar tactics -- emails, faxes, and phone calls about shipping primates.
"Smash HLS congratulates Monarch Air Group on its compassionate decision to stop the cruel monkey flights," the group wrote on its blog. "We are so greatly pleased!!"
Keep New Times Broward-Palm Beach Free... Since we started New Times Broward-Palm Beach, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of South Florida, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering South Florida with no paywalls.