More Airlines Commit to Keeping Africa Big Five on the Ground, Not in Cargo Hold

By on August 13, 2015 with 15 Comments By Wayne Pacelle

The flock of airlines moving to implement or strengthen policies against the transportation of hunting trophies continues to grow, since Safari Club member Walter Palmer killed Cecil the lion in Zimbabwe. Most recently, Swiss International Air Lines, Aer Lingus, and Finnair have confirmed their recent commitments, bringing the total number of airlines pledging to not ship some or all hunting trophies to nearly 30 in just a few short weeks. In the wake of our recent outreach to international airlines and carriers, we’ve also heard from several airlines that want to consult with us about what other cruelly obtained animal parts or products they shouldn’t be transporting.

Richard Branson, on behalf of Virgin Atlantic, is demonstrating true leadership in calling for all airlines and freight carriers worldwide to develop “a strict ethical cargo policy to clearly identify shipments not acceptable for carriage.” Thus far, the International Air Transport Association has not responded to Virgin Atlantic’s proposal. But with consumers now alert to many of the ethical issues that have emerged since Cecil’s killing, that effort will be hard to ignore, especially with the cascade of carriers already refusing to provide a proverbial getaway car for people who shoot the world’s rarest and most majestic animals in a head-hunting exercise.

A few carriers, including UPS and South African Airlines, have refused even to stop transporting trophies of the Africa Big Five (lions, leopards, elephants, rhinos and cape buffalo). They’re defaulting to the notion that what’s still legal is right, even as the global public has offered a ringing denunciation of the deeds that Walter Palmer and people like him have committed. We must do our best to disable the transportation systems that enable wealthy elites to treat Africa as a smash-and-grab zone, looting that continent’s greatest treasures to feed their zeal for competitive trophy hunting.

While Walter Palmer may elude extradition to Zimbabwe, he’s going to go down in history as a poster child for the opportunistic and selfish denizens of the worldwide trophy-hunting fraternity. Palmer has brought international attention to the SCI and the pay-to-slay hobby and industry that it encourages with its Grand Slam Competitions to kill the world’s most cherished wild animals.

SCI quickly recognized the danger that Palmer’s recklessness created for them and threw him overboard even as he gained points in the group’s frequent-slayer program. It’s confounding to some, but predictable to us, that several conservation organizations are actively supporting the position of Safari Club International in this situation. To say nothing of the inhumanity and frivolity of the enterprise, there’s no evidence that trophy hunting is sustainable on a biological or economic basis in the vast majority of places where it occurs in Africa. To the contrary, there is ample evidence that trophy hunting is harming wild populations of threatened species, including African lions and African elephants.

Let’s maintain the pressure and the focus, and do our best to achieve lasting reform, so that Cecil will not have died in vain.

Tell UPS to ban the shipment of hunting trophies »

Humane Society International, Wildlife/Marine Mammals

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  1. Laura Umphenour says:

    I pray HSUS doesn’t over look such carriers as Polar Air/Atlas Air Cargo. They are 51% DHL owned but they fly dirty cargo including they were flying horses to Asia for slaughter. My husband is a Captain for that airline. Maybe if UPS jumps on board, they will too. But don’t out it passed them to just take the extra cargo that others refuse now. They fly all over the world and Africa directly as well.

  2. Brandi Thomas says:

    Do not ship hunted animals!!

  3. Luzia says:

    Justiça por Cecil e outros animais da África, vamos protegê-los

  4. sally anne hubbard says:

    We need to keep the pressure on the airlines and UPS until all ban trophies from hunts. This is the only way we can make a difference. After all it is a long swim over the ocean for these cowards to bring their disgusting trophies home.

  5. Thomas Sutcliffe says:

    Glad to see so many airlines refusing to ship this stuff.

  6. Marja Koenig says:

    Glad to see Richard Branson spearheading this humanitarian movement. But, then again I am not surprised. If he’s on board, I am sure it will be successful. I have flown Virgin Atlantic several times. His airline is a “Class Act.”

  7. Diane Fisher says:

    Even if, by the grace of God, we can get every airline and every air cargo shipper to ban this, we still have shippers by boat and that is very accessible to these sick minded people especially in Africa or anywhere over seas. We have to put pressure on them as well. That being said, FedEx and UPS are both refusing to not stop shipping these trophy kills, not just UPS. The way they see it….they are going to reap the rewards of millions of dollars if they are the only ones. Corporate greed people. R.I.P. Cecil, we miss you so very much ♡

  8. Pattyann Joy says:

    Since we are getting the airlines not to ship I was wondering what about ships themselves?

  9. Gustavo ithurralde says:

    for an evolved brain can not understand human acts barbaric as this gentleman

  10. barbara schubert says:

    the dentist needs to be extradited to Africa and be punished for his horrible act also to show other low life hunter
    s there will be punishment for their actions. outrageous

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