Amerijet Says It Will Stop Shipping Monkeys
By Michael J. Mooney,
Mon., Feb. 14 2011 @ 3:28PM
the Fort Lauderdale-based cargo shipping company, will cease
transporting primates, according to a letter printed on Amerijet
letterhead, addressed to the president of the Animal Rights Foundation
of Florida. For months, local animal rights activists have targeted the company,
writing letters, calling the company, and protesting both the Fort
Lauderdale offices and the homes of several company executives.
The company had stood firm in their position. Just last month, Amerijet CEO David Bassett wrote a letter explaining why the company would not stop shipping primates.
Today, ARFF received a one-sentence letter from Bassett, addressed to Nanci Alexander (who also owns Sublime, a gourmet vegetarian restaurant on Federal Highway in Fort Lauderdale).
The letter, apparently signed by Bassett, states:
letter on behalf of Amerijet International, Inc. is intended to confirm
that, as stated on our website, Amerijet has ceased transporting
primates for any and all purposes."
The company has not confirmed
that the letter is authentic, nor is there proof yet that the primate
shipping has, in fact, ceased, but Amerijet's web site has been updated
to include the statement: "Amerijet does not ship primates."
Amerijet.comA screenshot of the company web site, which now indicates that Amerijet will not ship primates.Local
activists are claiming victory and celebrating. "We're delighted that
Amerijet has decided to end this cruel practice," said Don Anthony, ARFF
communications director. He said he didn't want to speculate about the
company's reasons for changing policy, but he pointed out that Amerijet
was one of the few airlines that continued to transport primates for
research purposes. He added, "Maybe they wanted to join the large number
of other airlines and companies who've decided that this is not how
they want to do business."
The group, South Florida Smash HLS,
which organized most of the demonstrations against Amerijet, recently
encouraged supporters to send a number of Valentine's to Bassett, and to
email and call his wife.
Protesters have long claimed that if
Ameriet stopped shipping monkeys, research facilities like the South
Florida-based Primate Products would not be able to import animals.
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