Amerijet Won't Stop Shipping Research Monkeys

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Last month, we told you about a letter from local animal rights activists to Amerijet, a Fort Lauderdale-based cargo airline, asking the company to shop shipping primates used for research -- specifically the ones used for controversial vivisection experiments. Several South Florida groups, including the Animal Rights Foundation of Florida, have written to the airline and organized protests outside company headquarters.

Now Amerijet has responded -- in the form of a letter written to Nanci Alexander, president of ARFF (and owner of Sublime, a gourmet vegetarian restaurant on Federal Highway in Fort Lauderdale).

From their letter, it seems the decisionmakers at Amerijet will not be canceling their monkey flights anytime soon. "We have carefully considered the position taken by our organization," the letter reads. "However we stand by our decision to transport animals and will continue in the future to serve the needs of our customers for animal transport."

The company says it will continue the primate shipments because, as the letter states, "to refuse to provide transportation services requested of us does not respect our customers' right to engage in lawful pursuits and is inconsistent with our values as a company."

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At one point, Amerijet claims that it would "decline to do business with potential customers that are under investigation by governments or other enforcement bodies for failing to meet legal standards or international conventions." Of course, after several disturbing photos of injured monkeys leaked last year, the USDA announced it would investigate one of Amerijet's most controversial customers, the South Florida-based research facility Primate Products. But despite the company's claims, so far it seems Amerijet's business with Primate Products continues as usual.

The letter also contains a plea for ARFF to condemn some of the tactics used by animals rights activists. Though there are no specific tactics mentioned in the letter, there is an insinuation that some violate national terrorism laws:

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"Unfortunately, we believe the tactics that have been engaged in or that are planned for the near future by some individuals or groups that have targeted Amerijet are the sort of animal rights extremist actions that federal laws, including the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act, are intended to protect law-abiding citizens against -- including our employees and customers."

Representatives from ARFF say they are crafting a letter to respond to Amerijet.

"The number of airlines that continue to transport monkeys for research is shrinking," says Don Anthony, ARFF's communications director. "We're disappointed that Amerijet is determined to be the last American airline to import monkeys to be used in cruel laboratory experiments. The Animal Rights Foundation of Florida will continue to protest Amerijet's involvement in this cruel trade."

Sunday night, a few days after receiving the letter, about 30 local activists gathered at the home of one of Amerijet's executives for a peaceful protest.

This is the Amerijet letter in its entirety:

Dear Ms. Alexander,

Your organization has called upon Amerijet to refuse to transport primates that may be used in research. We have carefully considered the position taken by our organization. However we stand by our decision to transport animals and will continue in the future to serve the needs of our customers for animal transport. We would like to explain briefly the reasons for our decision.

First, we value and respect our customers. We pride ourselves on providing the highest quality of transportation services for those who have entrusted their shipping needs to us. Just as importantly, we believe in the right of any business or individual to engage in lawful endeavors of their own choosing. To refuse to provide transportation services requested of us does not respect our customers' right to engage in lawful pursuits and is inconsistent with our values as a company.

At Amerijet we strive to comply with all laws, regulations and international conventions that apply to out business, including those relating to the transportation of live animals. Transporting live animals by air is considered to be the most humane and expedient method of transporting animals over long distances, so long as the laws, rules and conventions applying to animal transport are met.

We expect our customers also to make every effort to meet the legal and international standards that concern the welfare of animals transport. We have in the past declined to do business with costumers who were under investigation by government or other enforcement bodies for violations of law or international conventions. We will continue to transport animals for all lawful purposes. We commit to you, however, that we will make every effort to ensure that we are transporting animals for customers that are in turn complying with all legal requirements concerning the welfare of those animals, and will decline to do business with potential customers that are under investigation by governments or other enforcement bodies for failing to meet legal standards or international conventions.

Finally, we are sharing these thoughts with ARFF because we believe ARFF attempts, as we do here at Amerijet, to be a responsible and lawful corporate citizen. We also believe that ARFF respects that individuals and entities will not always agree and that we each are entitled to hold our own views and opinions without fear of physical harm or damage to property because of those views.

Unfortunately, we believe the tactics that have been engaged in or that are planned for the near future by some individuals or groups that have targeted Amerijet are the sort of animal rights extremist actions that federal laws, including the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act, are intended to protect law-abiding citizens against - including our employees and customers. We have made the decision to continue to transport animals after careful consideration, and we will not be deterred by what we consider to be unlawful threats, harassment or intimidation of our employees or customers or acts of vandalism or property damage. Instead, we are prepared to defend our employees, our customers, and our business to the full extent of the law.

You have called upon us to consider our position regarding transporting animals, and we have done so thoughtfully and believe we have responded to you honestly and forthrightly despite our differences of opinion. We now ask you to consider the actions and anticipated actions of individuals and groups that ARFF appears to have aligned itself with against Amerijet. We call upon you to publicly denounce any tactic that may intimidate, harass, or cause fear among our employees or our customers simply because they do not agree with those who hold a contrary view. We look forward to hearing from you.

Sincerely,
David G. Bassett
CEO, Amerijet International, Inc.


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37 comments
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19theimpaler23
19theimpaler23

Lawyer Joe...any animal research is a waste and nothing but cruelty towards animals...as far as the human race being more important than animals is narcissistic at best. There are 21st century methods of testing chemicals or drugs. And if airlines refused to transport animals, then these "scientists" won't have anyone to torture and those torture cages will close...oh and by the way because of DNA and genetics most drugs tested on humans don't work for us. Get a new life and spare some animals from pain. but first you need to practice empathy.

Pamela99751
Pamela99751

You Lawyer Joe and people like you, Narcissists, can easily condone the practise of vivisection and those companys that aid in the continuation of such horrendous, barbaric, experimentation. I'm sure you see nothing wrong with it. You can argue that it is for the betterment of the human race scientificially but we know that isn't true. Even John Hopkins is turning away from vivisection now and looking for kinder, more humane ways to advance science. And Amerijet. I wonder why they are involved in transporting monkeys to Primate Products? For the betterment and advancement of science, OR FOR THE ALMIGHTY DOLLAR? That's a head scratcher Lawyer Joe. I was reading an article in a medical journal the other day related to this very topic. It seems a researcher and his students in an East Coast university were experimenting on squirel monkeys for the "releif of menopausal systems in human females". They basically destroyed the monkey's brains with drugs, proceeded to write the word "CRAP" on their foreheads, denoting the damage they'd done, laughed, and then slaughtered them. They also dressed them up in little dresses before killilng them. All in the name of science. What a sad commentary on a society that condones and encourages this type of behavior. What a sad commentary on those individuals who support it.

Pamela99751
Pamela99751

Animal Nuts ? Really? Is that how you define us Lawyer Joe? Those of us who are educated empathic, informed human beings and do not believe in Vivisection should not be considered "nuts", as you put it. I invite you to pull up the pictures and video taken at Primate Products in Florida and carefully review them. If you can justify this action, this company, and any company who directly or indirectly promotes vivisection, then it's time you sit down and take an introspective view at yourself and the kind of human being you are.

MDredskin
MDredskin

David Bassett,you are the real monkey...jumping up and down for a dollar sign...you make me sick....

rg07
rg07

If a group like the Animal Legal Defense Fund should get involved in this case, they could probably bring Amerijet to its senses. Even if Amerijet thinks its right on its position, its a completely foolish PR decision.

Cindyflynn1
Cindyflynn1

Those people are not human-I hope they rot in hell.

Ccupcake Mirage
Ccupcake Mirage

"In the future to serve the needs of our customers for animal transport" Your customers have no needs other than taking out their adolescent frustrations on poor innocent animals. I'm sure this is about money, so of course "CARFUL CONSIDERATON" means caring for the airlines budget rather than caring for our planet and our related primates. “Despite our differences of opinion" and what opinion is that exactly? Oh I’m guessing it is "who cares if our earthlings are cut open alive, I need my cable paid" or is it your extra gas money? Kind of pathetic, Amerijet you should remember your genes are linked with primates, you should transport yourselves if it is all about profit. Lets hope that the American people never step foot on your company, your reputation is forever faltered meaning you hindered your chances at ever being a long term successful company. Lets Read your quote on facebook “For almost 35 years, Amerijet International, Inc. has earned an outstanding reputation as a cargo industry leader. Our priority is to build strong customer relationships based on trust, value and satisfaction.” Well you’ve lost trust of the American people and your values are clearly screwed up. I would be carful if I were you, costumer satisfaction could turn into customer rejection via your refusal to take responsibilities for the obvious cruelty with out fellow primates. Good day.

Lawyer Joe
Lawyer Joe

What does Michael Vick have to do with any of this? Isn't he the model reformed citizen you people want to turn the rest of us into? Don't you want these airlines giving money to animal rights causes and talking to schoolkids about how bad animal research is?

Mariela
Mariela

David Bassett ONE BIG PIECE OF TARD! Worthless human being. Greedy son of a b**ch! hopes he goes to hell! Greed is the biggest curse in this world! Thanks to AMERIJET lives of monkeys are being destroyed, anyone who is ok with this, anyone who enable such cruelty deserves nothing but the worst. Any ignorant like Lawyer Joe has a problem with us trying to stop this, do us a favor and remove yourself from planet earth and make sure you don't breed and pass on your ignorance and indifference. Compassion over greed !

Michael
Michael

It's sad that AmeriJet continues to ship these animals after seeing the images of these monkeys with their heads cut open and in such destress. I think ARFF and the activists of south florida should continue to turn up the head on Amerijet until the company rethinks its stance on this issue!

Dixie
Dixie

We'll be back! We the people will not sit back while greedy companies enslave innocent animals. "I abhor vivisection with my whole soul. All the scientific discoveries stained with innocent blood I count as of no consequence.” Mahatma Gandhi quotes (Indian Philosopher, internationally esteemed for his doctrine of nonviolent protest, 1869-1948)

Guest
Guest

Lawyer Joe, you're an idiot. These people are doing what they can to stop pointless animal abuse. They know monkeys are dying at Primate Products but Amerijet has to choose between their profit margin and real ethics, and the economy has been bad. Someone should ask Amerijet how much money they'd take to stop moving monkeys, then give then just hold a fundraiser for that amount.

Janis Farmanian
Janis Farmanian

Amerijet, you are letting yourself open to a lawsuit for your slanderous comments about our protest group. You strongly suggested that we are planning or have planned violence and vandalism. This is a blatant lie and shows your lack of morals and goes very well with your animal abuse violations. Your 3 rent-a-cops were hired to drown our protesters with a chant like this: "We love Michael Vick" Of COURSE your company likes Michael Vick. If his dogs did not perform in the fight ring, they were strangled, hung and buried alive. This kind of behavior is right up your alley. I suggest you hire him, he would be perfect for your company. He could run the transportation department there and would be perfectly happy transporting innocent primates to vivisecters to abuse and kill. He might even enjoy getting more violations for your company by doing what your company has been doing all along: stuffing 15 monkeys in a crate with no food and water and if there is a layover and some die, so be it. GO TO HELL AMERIJET. We will protest your lousy company till we die and our numbers are growing so you will need to hire more scumbag cops too. Happy New Year!

Janis Farmanian
Janis Farmanian

Lawyer Joe, I am one of the protesters. Do not call us nuts, please. I could call you that because you have no compassion for animals. We value ALL life. There are more ways to research products than using monkeys and that are more effective. We protest the airline because they are part of the problem. I wish you would go to Youtube and look at one of the videos on vivisection and then look at some of the videos on how animals are skinned alive for fur. If this does not upset you, then you are a sociopath and need professional help.

Heavster
Heavster

I'm with you lawyer Joe. These people should protest the company that is supposedly harming the monkeys. These bunny huggers really need to get a life. Stand tall Amerijet.

For the animals I will fight
For the animals I will fight

So when is our next protest? I am ready, They think they can intimidate me HA! like I have said in the past a little jail time is NOTHING COMPARED TO WHAT THESE POOR ANIMALS GO THROUGH ON ANY GIVEN DAY. FUCK YOU Amerijet... let the games being..

md
md

Mike, the airlines that no longer transport monkeys for research, did they make this change for ethical reasons? Have any of them made any statements about their policy?

Stop Vivisection
Stop Vivisection

"Lawyer Joe", you obviously do not know much about the vivisection industry. The FDA will approve any drug as long as it has been tested on an animal. Since animals react differently to viruses and medicine, testing on them is not a safe means of developing drugs. This is why a lot of drugs end up causing serious side effects and even death in humans, even though they tested safely on animals.

These people care about animals and humans alike. The vivisection industry wastes millions of tax dollars that could be better spent on more preventive methods of dealing with illnesses. The truth of the matter is that these animals suffer for no reason at all. The drugs that result in their suffering end up harming humans. It's a vicious cycle in which everyone loses, except for those profiteering financially.

Protesting Amerijet is important because if they stop transporting animals, the industry will lose its supply of animals. This is the most efficient way to end vivisection.

Jennie Budrock
Jennie Budrock

It's all about the circle of money being exchanged. That's all they needed to say.

There are alternative means of conducting research to save human lives. Look it up if you really care about it. Otherwise you have no business commenting.

mattnothing
mattnothing

Shame on Amerijet for trying to use the threat of the AETA to silence legal first amendment protected protest activity. For this reason alone efforts should be doubled - smug a*holes.

go to hell amerijet
go to hell amerijet

"We have carefully considered the position taken by our organization." That is pretty sad, even after ample time to think about the moral issues with stealing primates from everything natural and important to them and sentencing them to death at the hand of your customers. Well we have also carefully considered our position in regards to your letter. We will continue to do everything we can (legally) to make ensure that the voice of the non human victims you transport are heard.

Lawyer Joe
Lawyer Joe

Amerijet is shipping monkeys used in research that probably saves human lives. These animal nuts don't seem to understand that a human life is worth more than a monkey life. It's a sad fact of the planet they were born on.

Why protest the airline and not the company you think is to blame? Why single out individual workers when the policies are what you think is wrong? And I don't really think that every single person protesting at this guy's house has never had a hamburger or a chicken nugget or a glass of milk. No, they are bored hypocrites.

guest
guest

hehe :) they act like we will leave them alone with their threats. :P

Mariela
Mariela

Heavster, you are a moron, because these people do protest the company harming the monkey is called Primate Products and the protest was on TV, and protesters have been there protesting for months, LoL uuuhhh do you feel like an idiot now? But you just wanted to sound ignorant and post a comment with no research what so ever. Funny how the people in favor of animal abuse are the one who are so very stupid and write just whatever. You need to get a life, read a book, inform yourself.

Verush
Verush

They do for Christ's sake!

Defend the Innocent
Defend the Innocent

In the last few years, Amerijet has violated the Animal Welfare Act a staggering 13 times!!

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Jimkim
Jimkim

I think lawyer joe must have an I.Q. of 3.

Cindyflynn1
Cindyflynn1

Do your research Joe- you haven't done any research on this have you.There is a difference between humane and human-figure it out.

DeepBlueSci
DeepBlueSci

Of course what Michael Mooney "forgot" to mention is that a USDA investigation cleared Primate Products, Inc of any wrongdoing.

USDA Spokesman Dave Sacks said:

"It was a clean inspection report…there was nothing found that was against animal welfare regulations…Group housing of primates is allowed in the animal welfare regulations…with the mindset that’s more closely adapted to how they live in the wild. These animals do various fighting among themselves for hierarchy…so that will carry through to how they are housed…But if in those housing situations, if there is a monkey that gets injured, we require the facility to provide adequate care"

http://speakingofresearch.com/...

Journalists should be very, very careful when dealing with the claims of animal rights activists, as such activists are experts at misrepresentation and distortion of the truth.

I applaud David Bassett and Amerijet, their principled stance is all the more commendable given the harrassment that many of their staff have received at the hands of AR extremists.

Mariela
Mariela

Life is life--whether in a cat, or dog or man. There is no difference there between a cat or a man. The idea of difference is a human conception for man's own advantage.” - Sri Aurobindo

You are beyond ignorant thinking like that. Everything bad that happens to you, you deserve it because of that cold heart of yours. So sad humans like you exist. Let me guess then you go to church and pray for mercy? You hypocrite, you are rotten

Thevkstr
Thevkstr

what a weak man you are!!!!! no intestinal fortitude!!! not an ounce of leadership abilities!!!!! a brown nosed ass kisser!!!! happily accepting your role in life,never asking why or why not!!! funny,you think we are arrogant and pompous let me tell you this challenge we face is never do u hear me never about us!!! hypocrites,hmmm, well we don"t judge others that have tasted meat, we are brought up by parents that never gave us that choice. in any given situation there is always more than one contributor.we have a multitude of effects on our environment.from the hunters who capture all the way down the line to the scientist that makes the first incision.many many in between.each and everyone in the line is partly responsible.if needed we will target each individual.we are here to educate.have u ever watched any of the footage on the fur industries procedures? or the undercover investigative footage of slaughter house practices??? or what the protocol is for testing on animals? how about a veal farm??? a chic hatchery??? this is all publicly available. before you are so quick to comment on our work and our system perhaps you should atleast arm yourself with a little more information. honestly you just look like a stupid idiot.

mattnothing
mattnothing

So Heavster's logical conclusion should be to support the protests against Amerijet now. Great!

Stop Animal Abuse
Stop Animal Abuse

Your post is garbage. You aplaud this? Something is definately wrong with you and you disgust me. Obviously USDA cleared them, money talks. I'm pretty sure you are one of those people who would sell your soul for money, honestly people like you are a disgrace. Keep applauding animal abuse. I love how any activist is called an extremist, be more original or is it that all animal abusers have the same amount of words in your vocabulary?

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