Due activist pressure, UPS, FedEx, and DHL have affirmed that they will not transport any mammals by air freight. While these two carriers did not have a large volume of animal shipments, the options for transport over long distances is now reduced. Lufthansa recently made similar policy changes. In addition, UPS will soon restrict shipments of amphibians, insects, crustaceans, mollusks and fish. This will restrict the transport of two major research models, including Xenopus frogs and Drosophila fruitflies in their various stages. Several suppliers use air over-night shipping of these animals. Not only will the shipping ban affect researchers, but those who utilize animals for college or high school teaching purposes.
An editorial published in Nature on September 19th (Nature 489:336), and a Nature News article by Meredith Wadman identify how the major carriers bowed to activist pressure, and the resulting restrictions. The editorial identifies that since biomedical and other research has become more globalized, these restrictions represent a dangerous milestone in the fight to stop animal use in research. As a result of failed efforts to make animal research illegal, activists are going after the infrastructure that supports providing the supplies that make research possible.
To find out if your research animal shipments may be affected, see the UPS, DHL or FedEx Animal shipments pages. If you use plants and seeds for research, these are still able to be shipped. FedEx will continue to ship live lobsters, fish and oysters; but please, no experimentation, just boil/fry/bake and butter.