Royal Caribbean: Cut ties with cruel global trade in monkeys for experimentation

On November 14, a Wamos Air plane carrying 720 monkeys packed into small wooden crates departed Cambodia on a nightmare 30+ hours journey to the USA. Tragically, several of the monkeys died en route. The surviving monkeys will be sold to a laboratory where they will suffer and die in experiments.

Wamos Air is a subsidiary of Miami-based Royal Caribbean Group, the world’s second-largest cruise line company.

You Can Help
Please contact Wamos Air and Royal Caribbean and urge them to refuse to transport monkeys destined for research, and to instead join the long list of airlines that refuse to be a part of the cruel global trade in monkeys for research.

Enrique Saiz, CEO
Wamos Air

Richard Fain, Chairman and CEO
Royal Caribbean Group

Sample text:

“Wamos Air, owned in part by Royal Caribbean, should not be involved in transporting monkeys destined for the research industry. Nearly every major airline in the world has made the decision to no longer be involved in the cruelty and suffering of the international trade in monkeys by refusing to transport monkeys to laboratories. Please make a similar commitment.”

Please share with ARFF any responses that you receive.

The perplexing return of the Florida caviar farm subsidy

(Tallahassee) – A budget line item that was vetoed by Governor Ron DeSantis in 2020 is back from the dead.

The Animal Rights Foundation of Florida (ARFF) is calling on Representative Brad Drake to withdraw his request to include $1.8 million in the 2021-2022 state budget for Bascom Farms, a sturgeon farm in Jackson County.

In the funding request, House Bill 4097, Rep. Drake explains that the funds are intended to repair damage caused by Hurricane Michael more than two years ago.

At Bascom Farms (aka Sturgeon Aquafarms), more than 10,000 sturgeon are confined inside tanks. The large, slow-growing fish spend years swimming endless circles before the females reach maturity. They are then cut open and their eggs removed to be sold as caviar.

“It was wrong last year to use the public’s money to support a for-profit caviar producer, and it’s especially wrong now in the midst of a pandemic,” said ARFF Campaigns Coordinator Nick Atwood. “We urge Representative Drake to withdraw this ridiculous appropriation.”

Sturgeon Aquafarms is an affiliate company of Marky’s, a Miami-based retailer of foie gras and other “gourmet” foods. Marky’s operates a caviar store and restaurant on Madison Avenue in New York City, a caviar lounge at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, and a bar at the glitzy Aventura Mall.

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South Florida Fair: Stop cruel and exploitive animal acts

The South Florida Fair has announced that it will hold a scaled-back event in January 2021. Unfortunately, the fair will feature a depressing sea lion act and a “racing” pig show.

Pigs are intelligent, sensitive animals. Pigs used in racing pig shows often endure mishandling and are stressed by constant travel, noise from fairground crowds, and blaring music.

Sea Lion Splash is a frequent performer at county fairs in Florida. Serious problems have plagued the company in recent years. The U.S. Department of Agriculture has found numerous violations of the Animal Welfare Act, including sea lions confined in a pool that did not meet minimum size requirements, inadequately trained employees, and sea lions suffering from painful eye conditions.

You Can Help
Please contact the South Florida Fair and let them know there’s no fun in seeing animal abuse and that you won’t go to the fair because it is upsetting. Contact:

South Florida Fair Board of Directors
Vicki Chouris, President & CEO
Dennis Grady, Chair
Robert Weisman, Vice Chair
Rebecca Isiminger, Secretary
Paul Grose, Treasurer

Phone: (561) 793-0333

Post a comment on the fair’s Facebook page:

A quick phone call or email is all that is needed, such as:

“I was disappointed to learn that the 2021 South Florida Fair will feature a traveling sea lion show and racing pigs. The USDA has found serious problems with animal care at Sea Lion Splash, including failure to provide veterinary care to sea lions suffering from painful eye conditions. Please reconsider including Sea Lion Splash, racing pigs or other cruel and exploitive animal acts in the fair.”

New study finds that alligator wrestling in Florida is animal abuse

Alligator wrestling, an archaic but still common show at tourist attractions in Florida, causes alligators substantial stress, according to a new study by researchers at New York University.

The study, which was published November 13, 2020 in the journal PLOS ONE, is the first empirical study of alligator wrestling in Florida. Researchers reviewed 94 alligator wrestling performances at 15 different venues in Florida, including Everglades Holiday Park (Fort Lauderdale), Jungle Queen (Fort Lauderdale) and Gatorland (Orlando).

“We found that alligator wrestling attractions may be causing systemic welfare harms to the alligators involved with few, if any, environmental conservation payoffs,” the researchers concluded.

In almost every performance wrestlers physically restrained the legs and torsos of alligators, often for as long as five minutes, causing significant stress to the animals. The researchers found wrestlers also forcibly pull alligator’s jaws open, drag alligators around an arena, flip alligators onto their backs, and even poke alligators in their eye sockets. The fact that individual alligators are repeatedly used in performances heightens the animal welfare concerns.

“This important study reinforces our belief that alligator wrestling is cruel and should not be allowed to continue in Florida,” said Nick Atwood, Campaigns Coordinator for the Animal Rights Foundation of Florida. “We urge Floridians not to support attractions that feature alligator wrestling, and to ask friends and family members visiting Florida to do the same.”

“Investigating the welfare and conservation implications of alligator wrestling for American Alligators”

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Airline cuts ties with cruel primate trade

In May, ARFF joined with Action for Primates and One Voice to alert our supporters about a pending shipment of monkeys from Mauritius to Miami. As many as 1,200 monkeys were to be exported for use in experiments or toxicity (poisoning) testing. We urged people to ask Skybus Jet Cargo, who had been hired to fly the monkeys on the extremely long-distance journey, to reject the shipment. The response we received to our action alert from people around the world was overwhelming, demonstrating the widespread public concern there is on this issue. However, despite this, Skybus did not respond to our concerns, so we feared that the shipment had gone ahead as planned.

Last week, we learned of a breach of contract lawsuit filed against Skybus Jet Cargo by a company called International Logistics Support. When we read the complaint, it was clear that the lawsuit was about the shipment of monkeys in our action alert. Skybus Jet Cargo had cancelled the shipment, in part because of “certain political activist organizations.” On behalf of the monkeys, we are happy that Skybus chose not to get involved in the cruel primate trade.

The surprise victory reminds us of a quote attributed to Mahatma Gandhi: “You may never know what results come of your actions, but if you do nothing, there will be no results.” We are grateful to everyone who contacted Skybus Jet Cargo in response to our action alert!

The court files also revealed that Matt Block, an infamous primate dealer who we’ve written about before on this blog, is an owner of International Logistics Support.