Delta Airlines just announced that they will no longer be shipping certain hunting trophies as freight. Read on to find out how this will impact hunters.
In a disappointing turn of events for American hunters, Delta Airlines, one of the largest airlines offering service between South Africa and the United States, has just announced that they are banning the shipment of lion, leopard, elephant, rhinoceros, and buffalo trophies on all of their airplanes.
Their official press release is below.
Effective immediately, Delta will officially ban shipment of all lion, leopard, elephant, rhinoceros and buffalo trophies worldwide as freight. Prior to this ban, Delta’s strict acceptance policy called for absolute compliance with all government regulations regarding protected species. Delta will also review acceptance policies of other hunting trophies with appropriate government agencies and other organizations supporting legal shipments.
Unfortunately, I think that this is a misguided and naive response to the Cecil the Lion controversy. While I have no doubt that their intentions are good, this ban really appears to be more of a knee-jerk blanket ban on shipping Big 5 trophies by some people who really have no idea what they are talking about when it comes to wildlife conservation.
Their ban on shipping trophies of the Big 5 will do absolutely nothing to reduce wildlife poaching and will only hurt law-abiding hunters by making it more difficult to ship their hunting trophies home.
If you are a hunter, you should think very seriously about flying on Delta Airlines, especially to Africa, while this ban is still in effect. In addition to flying on other airlines without similar restrictions, I recommend that you contact conservation organizations like Safari Club International and urge them to educate Delta Airlines on the value of hunting as a conservation tool and lobby them to change their policy.
South African Airways had a similar ban on shipping hunting trophies in place for a short period of time. However, they recently saw the light and changed their mind. Hopefully, Delta Airlines will do the same.