Air Canada, Delta Are Latest Airlines to Ban Hunting Trophy Cargo
In the continuing reaction to the killing of Cecil the lion in Zimbabwe by a Minnesota dentist, and under pressure from organizations like Humane Society International, Air Canada and Delta Airlines announced this week that they were banning hunting trophies from their cargo operations.
“We commend Air Canada for its commitment to compassion and its forward-thinking policies that protect both the animals and the values of its clients,” said Gabriel Wildgen, a spokesperson for Humane Society International.
Earlier Delta announced it would ban shipment of all lion, leopard, elephant, rhinoceros and buffalo trophies worldwide as freight. “Prior to this ban,” the Delta announcement said, “Delta’s strict acceptance policy called for absolute compliance with all government regulations regarding protected species. Delta will also review acceptance policies of other hunting trophies with appropriate government agencies and other organizations supporting legal shipments.”
Meanwhile, Humane Society International continues to press holdouts such as UPS and FedEx to adopt a ban on the transport of hunting trophies, especially African elephants, rhinoceroses, African lions, leopards, and Cape buffalo.
“There is no financial or other reason for any airline to continue to aid and abet this industry,” said Teresa Telecky, director of wildlife for Humane Society International, “and their passengers would be horrified to know that below them in the cargo hold could be the lifeless remains of a once magnificent wild animal killed for kicks. These companies must not allow themselves to be the get-away vehicle for unethical trophy hunting. They must wash their hands of this horrific, cruel and wasteful hobby once and for all.”
Other carriers that still transport hunting trophies include Air Berlin, Air China, Alitalia, DHL, Japan Airlines, Korean Airlines, Malaysia Airlines, and South African Airways.
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