photo by Rosanna Ryan

Aerolíneas Argentinas has just announced that it will no longer carry hunting trophies on its domestic and international flights. The airline is launching this initiative to help protect the environment and wildlife worldwide. Let’s investigate further.

Wildlife protection

Trophy hunters invest tons of money every year to kill wild animals for in-home displays. According to the Humane Society International, more than 200,000 threatened or endangered animals are killed for trophies each year.

Moreover, trophy hunters prefer to kill the largest, strongest animals, causing further population declines. The United States is the biggest importer of wildlife trophies, and New York is the biggest port of entry.

Argentina is in the top ten countries that import animals as trophies to the US, according to the Humane Society International. This has led Aerolíneas Argentinas to take radical action and stop this activity.

In a statement, the airline said,

“This initiative aims to protect the Argentinian wildlife, and it complies with the international conservation standards such as the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).”

Aerolíneas Argentinas cited that many wildlife species are directly impacted by hunting activities, including the American cougar.

“This type of policies are important, they show progress and have the common objective of moving forward to a more conscious world towards wild fauna and flora protection,” said Pablo Ceriani, Aerolíneas Argentinas CEO.

Marina Ratchford, the Humane Society International country manager in Argentina, told Simple Flying,

“We commend Aerolineas Argentinas for joining the list of 45 airlines that have made a commitment not to transport hunting trophies. Trophy hunting harms wildlife populations and killing wild animals for fun has no place in modern society. Aerolineas Argentina’s decision ends their role in this harmful activity. We urge other airlines who have not joined this list yet to do so as well.”

Are there any other airlines that ban hunting trophies?

As of January 2020, 45 airlines worldwide had some sort of ban on carrying hunting trophies, according to data of the Humane Society International. One of them is Emirates.

In Latin America, besides Aerolíneas Argentinas, only Aeromexico has made a commitment to disincentive hunting of animals.

Meanwhile, in the United States and Europe, many airlines have banned hunting trophies, such as KLM, Virgin, Lufthansa, Brussels Airlines, Air France, British Airways, Delta Air Lines, United Airlines, American Airlines, JetBlue, Hawaiian Airlines, SWISS, Iberia, Cargolux, and others.

Many US carriers first launch their ban on carrying hunting trophies in 2015. The decision came following the illegal killing of Cecil the lion in Zimbabwe by US dentist Walter Palmer (who wasn’t deferred from his activities following the backlash after Cecil’s controversy).

Nevertheless, not every US airline banned the transport of any hunting trophies. For instance, Delta and American only prohibited the shipment of lion, leopard, elephant, rhino, and buffalo trophies, meaning they allow the transportation of other species.

Which airlines have completely banned hunting trophies?

Of the 46 airlines (including Aerolíneas Argentinas) that the Humane Society International has listed to have some sort of ban on hunting trophy carriage, 33 have a 100% prohibition.

For instance, Cargolux completely banned the transportation of hunting trophies in 2018. The airline said that practice “does not align with the company’s ethical engagements and policies.” It later added that Cargolux is committed to building a sustainable business model which preserves the environment and its natural resources.

Finally, other carriers like Air Canada and WestJet have only banned trophies from the “Big Five”. The Big Five refers to these species: the African buffalo, African lions, African elephants, African leopards, and Southern white rhinos.

Source: www.simpleflying.com

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