In response to pressure from PETA-India, Air India wrote to the group in July saying “we ... do not accept animals for experimental purposes.” On 23 August, Air India issued a circular to all its managers and cargo staff declaring “Air India does not carry ‘Live Animals for experimental purposes’”. But Kalpagam Polasa, acting director at the NIN, told Nature last week that weekly flights of her institute’s animals on Air India continue, labeled in the ‘live animal’ category, and costing her institute three times as much as previously. The airline did not respond to requests for comment.
Many scientists may shrug their shoulders at the personal impact of the trend in cargo-carrier policies, says Joseph Haywood, vice-president for science policy at the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology in Bethesda, Maryland, and vice-president for regulatory affairs at Michigan State University in East Lansing, where he is responsible for animal transport for the university. But, he says, “when they need that specific animal model to ask a critical question, they need to have that model. It could be across the street or across the world. We are moving to global science.”