Recently, I posted a piece highlighting the fact that South African Airways has put in place a policy that bans the transport of any large or endangered Wildlife Hunting Trophies aboard their passenger or cargo airplanes.
In addition to SAA, Emirates has now created a policy that takes effect on May 15 that also provides for the ban of Large Trophy Game transport on its aircraft as well.
To this end, I want to bring your attention to Lufthansa’s position on the topic.
I contacted LH Cargo soon after the SAA news to confirm what Lufthansa’s position is on this very important topic. I’m glad to report that LH has policies similar to the aforementioned airlines in place. In fact I think the LH policies may go a bit beyond what SAA has in place. According to the internal memo from SAA it targets only specific animals (Rhino, Elephant, Lion, and Tiger):
This leads me to think that SAA will still allow the transport of other Game not specifically listed in their internal communications.
In an email exchange with my contacts at Lufthansa Cargo, I was able to gain confirmation that Lufthansa and Lufthansa Cargo do not engage in the transport of Large Trophy Animals or animals protected under CITES 1.
From LH Cargo:
“We definitely do not transport large game trophies and, of course, no trophies for any endangered species, complying with CITES 1 regulations”
Animals that ‘qualify’ under CITES 1 include Elephant, Rhino, Lion, Tiger, Cheetah, Leopard, Zebra, Giraffe and other large game. Based on my interpretation of CITES 1, it provides for a ban on the commercial export or import of Game that is endangered or can potentially be endangered by harvesting. It does not apply to Game that is not at risk, such as Impala, Kudu and other antelope or small game not listed as an at-risk species.
If I interpret the LH statement correctly, it appears that they go beyond what is just required by CITES and may in fact go beyond what SAA and Emirates have put into place since they suggest that they transport NO Large game, not just CITES 1 protected animals.
Personally, I would like to see airlines band together and create a standardized policy that addresses this very sensitive and important topic. If it one day becomes impossible to transport ANY Animal Trophy due to airline policies, we will have made major strides in reducing the amount of senseless murders that take place of defenseless animals.
If game hunters realize that they can’t bring home the carcass of what they senselessly slaughtered while on vacation, perhaps then the animals will have a fighting chance.