SCI is working to reverse the ill-advised announcements from a fluid list of airlines that have suddenly declared a ban on the transportation of all hunting trophies as cargo. One airline cites a single incident of a mislabeled hunting trophy as its justification, while others appear to be reacting in knee-jerk fashion to an online petition campaign urging all airlines to adopt such a ban. Evidence of the panicky herd mentality among the airlines is the fact that several cite verbatim from the petition that they are refusing such shipments “irrespective of CITES appendix.” The airlines also appear to be unaware that the signatories of such petitions are not typically part of their customer base, while hunters represent a substantial market share of international travelers.
SCI is opening every possible avenue to counter this sudden outburst of trophy bans. SCI representatives are in direct contact with the airlines, several of which appear to be on the verge of reconsidering their abrupt announcements. SCI is also opening discussions with domestic and international airline regulatory agencies and trade associations, the CITES Secretariat, diplomats from affected countries, and Members of the U.S. Congress. More detailed reports will follow as the positions of involved parties become clear and can be communicated to the SCI membership.
In the interim, SCI would like to thank the leadership of Delta airlines, which has also been targeted in this campaign. In response, Delta issued the following simple statement:
“Delta accepts hunting trophies in accordance with all U.S. domestic and international regulations, which prohibits the possession of trophies or other items associated with protected species. Customers are required to produce detailed documentation of trophies to U.S. Customs and Border Patrol officials as their trophies undergo inspection.”
Hunters are encouraged to thank Delta airlines for taking a principled stand. A variety of contact information is listed online at www.delta.com/contactus/pages/comment_complaint/
And SCI members can rest assured that your team is working on this issue with all available resources. Watch this space for updates.