More than 40 airlines adopt wildlife trophy bans: HSI

Since the killing of Cecil the lion on July 1 in Zimbabwe‚ 42 airlines had announced or reaffirmed bans on wildlife trophy shipments on their carriers‚ the Humane Society International (HSI) said on Thursday.

Virgin‚ Delta‚ International Airlines Group (British Airways‚ Iberia‚ Aer Lingus)‚ Air Canada and Jet Blue are among the carriers that have banned shipping lion‚ leopard‚ elephant‚ rhinoceros and Cape buffalo trophies.

South African Airways and shipping giants UPS and Fed Ex have yet to do so.

Andrew Rowan‚ HSI president and CEO said‚ “By putting in place policies that prevent hunters from using their cargo holds to transport Africa’s wildlife‚ these airlines are sending a clear message to the trophy hunting industry that wild animals are worth much more alive than dead.

“We urge all airlines to follow their lead and help save animals like Cecil the lion‚ brutally killed at the hands of a wealthy American hunter.

“As a native South African‚ I urge South African Airways to take a stance against trophy hunting and help bring investments in ecotourism — an investment that is proven to go much further than hunting.”

Wildlife-based ecotourism brought an estimated $34.2-billion in tourist receipts in 2013‚ according to a report by the World Tourism Organisation. Meanwhile a study of nine countries that offer trophy hunting found that‚ in 2011‚ tourism contributed‚ on average‚ 2.4% of gross domestic product (GDP)‚ and trophy hunting only 0.09% of GDP.

Following Cecil’s death‚ HSI contacted all 250 airlines requesting that they immediately stop the shipment of trophies of the African Big Five (lion‚ leopard‚ elephant‚ rhinoceros and Cape buffalo).

HSI said that 42 airlines now prohibited shipment of trophies from the African Big Five and other wildlife.



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