I was hoping that this was not true when I first heard of it.
After contacting several reliable sources, I’m honestly saddened to say that South African has turned back its policy and is once again shipping Safari / Hunting Game Trophies.
What is sad about this is the fact the SAA was leading the charge when they announced the ban in April 2015. Airlines lined up behind SAA with similar policies, but it was SAA that was the first to make a substantial stand and took the brunt of the criticism from the pro-hunting lobby.
It looks like the pro-Hunting lobby had gotten to SAA with veiled threats regarding the economic loss they’ll incur by not flying hunters to the animal’s death camps. And apparently SAA is only thinking with dollar signs (or Rand signs as it were) in their short-sighted minds.
If there was one airline that I would think would take a tough stand against the eradication of threatened animals it would be SAA. Considering the vibrant Bushveld full of beautiful critters that you’ll find in South Africa, its a shame that the nation’s flag-carrier wants to be part of the problem.
The murder of ‘Cecil’ apparently rang hollow on these foolish hypocrites…..
You may be wondering why I am writing about a container shipping company. Let me give you a bit of context.
In June, there were announcements from several airlines regarding a shift in their policies that would ban the transport of Hunting Trophies such as Lions, Elephants, Tigers, Rhino, etc. It started with South African and spread to Lufthansa, Brussels, Austrian, SWISS, Emirates, British Airways.
During the course of these announcements, I had a discussion with a friend of mine, Nils Haupt, who works on the corporate communications team for Hapag-Lloyd in Hamburg and asked what their policies were on the topic since shipping is their business.
At the time, I was to understand that Hapag had policies against illegally harvested trophies but nothing beyond that. Well that has changed.
Last night when I checked my email, I had a note from Nils stating that based on the trend in the industry and their observations (and because of our initial conversations last month), Hapag-Lloyd has now amended their container shipping policy and has fully banned the transport of any Game Trophy, regardless of how it was harvested.
I love the fact that Hapag-Lloyd has joined the ‘fight’. The biggest criticism when the airlines changed policy was the fact that not many trophies are transported via aircraft. So seeing one of the world’s largest container shippers change their policy should send a VERY strong message about how the transportation industry is beginning to view this topic.
Good on you Hapag-Lloyd and THANKS!