After protests by rights activists, Air India has stopped ferrying animals like rabbits, cats and dogs for laboratory tests, where they are experimented upon and finally killed, a PETA official said Saturday.
"Air India, in an e-mail to PETA, has confirmed that a circular was sent to all stations in its network instructing them not to accept animals being transported for experimental purposes, and that the situation would be closely monitored," Chaitanya Koduri, a policy advisor of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), said.
Air India has also confirmed that it has banned ferrying animals for experimentation purpose from all its national and international flights since last week.
The carrier's move came after PETA showed Air India a copy of an airway bill documenting that the airline transported a shipment of animals for experimental purposes in laboratories.
With this, PETA now plans to take up the same issue with all other private Indian air operators urging them for a similar humane commitment, Koduri said.
Air India is now among international airlines like Air Lingus, British Airways, Cargolux, Cathay Pacific, Qantas and, recently, Air China which decline transporting rabbits, rodents, dogs, cats, primates and other creatures destined for laboratories.