Monarch Air Group Cited for Violating the Animal Welfare Act

Posted by ARFF

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

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