Major US Airlines Ban Hunting Trophies Shipment

Major US Airlines Ban Hunting Trophies ShipmentMajor US Airlines Ban Hunting Trophies Shipment

Three US airlines announced that they will no longer accept lion, leopard, elephant, rhino and buffalo trophies as cargo. The move comes after an American dentist killed a well-known lion in Zimbabwe last month.

Delta, United and American Airlines banned the shipment of big game hunting trophies on flights, following similar measures taken by Emirates and South African Airways, DW reported.

The decision comes in the wake of a global uproar over the death of a well-known lion named Cecil in Zimbabwe last month in an allegedly illegal hunt. The man linked with the death, dentist Walter James Palmer, lives in the US state of Minnesota, a major hub for Delta.

Delta, the only American airline to fly directly between the US and Johannesburg, also said it would review its acceptance policies for other hunting trophies with the appropriate government agencies and other organizations. Even before the killing of Cecil, activists had urged major airliners not to carry endangered species killed by trophy hunters. German airline Lufthansa Cargo halted the shipment of such animals from Africa in June, while Emirates SkyCargo took the step in May.

Although most animals are transported by ship, the new bans are expected to make it harder for hunters to get their trophies home. Henry Harteveldt, a travel industry consultant, noted that airlines like Delta were probably acting in response to pressure following the news of Cecil’s killing.

“I don’t think there was much of this shipment taking place, so there is minimal revenue loss and big PR gain for them.”