New Delhi, May 23: Dressed in prisoner suits and dog, rabbit and rat masks, animal rights activists crouched in cages stacked on top of each other on Wednesday protested outside the Air India's office here after the carrier reneged on its ban on transporting animals for cruel tests.
Holding placards that read "Air India Transports Animals for cruel tests-choose Jet Airways" six members of the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India made a plea for animals' lives outside the Air India Office here.
"Air India's repeated assurances that it will refuse to transport animals to laboratories apparently meant nothing - it has gone right back to shipping animals to their deaths," said PETA India Science Policy Adviser Chaitanya Koduri.
A similar protest was held outside Indian embassy in Washington, in the first week of this month, and other part of the globe by PETA but with no reaction coming up from Air India, they again held a protest.
The action was in protest of Air India's about-face on its ban on transporting animals to laboratories, where they are caged, cut into, poisoned, and killed, a media statement said.
"Earlier this year, PETA India contacted Air India to urge the company to stop transporting animals to laboratories to be used in experiments. After a face-to-face meeting, Air India told us in writing that it would refuse requests to transport animals to laboratories. But now, because of pressure from animal experimenters, Air India has backtracked on the ban and resumed shipping animals for use in cruel laboratory experiments," said an activist.
The organisation says," In one recent experiment in India, male beagles had their legs cut open so that transmitters could be inserted into them, had tubes forced into their penises and were repeatedly injected with experimental drugs.
"Young dogs in Indian laboratories are commonly poisoned to death in toxicity tests after being force-fed chemicals for months on end," a statement from the NGO said.
"KN Srivastava, Secretary in the Ministry of Civil Aviation, confirmed in a statement to PETA that Air India had rescinded its 23 August 2012 order against transporting animals to laboratories," it said.
Five biggest cargo carriers in the world- FedEx, UPS, Cathay Pacific,Korean Air and EVA air all prohibit shipping animals to laboratories.
Jet Airways, India's second-largest airline, also recently committed to a ban on transporting animals slated for experimentation, said PETA.