SCI Condemns Arbitrary Decision by Domestic Airlines To Ban Shipment of African Hunting Trophies


deltaplaneIn what appears to be an ill-advised response to public attention, Delta Air Lines, United Airlines and American Airlines each announced the immediate suspension of cargo shipments of lion, elephant, rhinoceros, leopard, and buffalo trophies. The airlines have given no indication that they will ban the shipment of trophies of any other species. For Delta Air Lines, the ban represents a direct reversal of the position it announced on May 13, 2015. On that date, Delta, which is the only U.S. domestic carrier with direct service to South Africa, committed to continuing the shipment of all legally hunted trophies.

grey-ghost-capebuffaloThe three U.S. airlines — and other airlines around the world that have succumbed to media pressure — have little understanding or concern about the harm that their embargoes will cause to wildlife conservation. International hunters generate and deliver much needed funds to the areas where wildlife actually exists. Each action that airlines take to discourage international hunting means less money to fight poaching, preserve habitat, and sustainably manage wildlife populations.

leopard-13-051515These three airline announcements came weeks after several other international airlines implemented changes to their policies concerning the shipment of hunting trophies. Not all airlines are enforcing trophy shipment embargoes. For example, on July 22, 2015, thanks in great part to the efforts of the Professional Hunters Association of South Africa, with support from SCI, South African Airways reconsidered and reversed an embargo that it had implemented months before.

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19 thoughts on “SCI Condemns Arbitrary Decision by Domestic Airlines To Ban Shipment of African Hunting Trophies”

    1. Jake, thanks for the number. Unfortunately, that’s Media Relations, which is not the right department. We asked Delta for a better way for concerned SCI Members to contact them instead. Their spokesman, Morgan Durrant, provided a link to a complaint form to which we followed up with a request for a more direct contact. Will let you know what we hear back.

      1. Let me know the form to fill out. Spoke to Delta Intn’l cargo 800-352-2746 and she confirmed the ban. Told her she Delta wouldn’t be getting any of my further business. I suppose if enough people complain maybe they’ll reconsider.

  1. I spoke with a Delta Airline representative this morning and she had no idea what I was talking about here ie the ban in trophy shipments. Do we now have to ship everything back by boat?

  2. These Airlines should be avoided for travel whenever possible. They are all a bunch of whimps that have boards of directors that make knee-jerk decisions and I hope that they all suffer financially for it.

  3. I booked a flight a few days ago on Delta to South Africa over SAA because I thought they were supportive and SAA was not. SAA then reversed it’s trophy shipment ban so they will ship but since UA has banned it and SAA is a partner with them, how will that play out? I just spoke with Delta cargo and they confirmed the ban and I told them they just lost my business. Maybe if enough hunters give them the same message, if will effect them???

  4. I flew Delta to SA this past May on safari. There were a lot of hunters on board going both ways. I am returning to Africa next month on business and booked my flights on South Africa Airlines because of my schedule. I really wanted to support Delta and have told others to do so. Now I am glad I am flying SAA. I am disappointed that Delta caved to media pressure that will soon be “yesterday’s news.” Makes not sense to me. I know they have choices and I respect that fact. We as hunters have choices too.

  5. The anti-hunting community used online petitions to drum up signatures to present to the airlines to call for a ban. Why don’t SCI, NRA and other groups which support hunting create and ask their respective members to sign petitions requesting reversal of the ban.

  6. 1.) Send these airlines mail stating your disapproval of their new policies and the fact, that you as well as other members of the hunting community will boycott them. Send copies to your Congressmen as well as the FAA. 2.) Even if its less convenient, fly with other, more supportive companies.

  7. American is planning flights to Africa beginning this fall. Good time to put out the word to boycott them from the offset. I’m beginning to run out of airlines to travel on. I’m certain that there are those that will still be supportive.
    JIM P.

  8. Delta Flight 200 is always packed with hunters. I wonder if they will refuse to fly us. I called Delta too to register my disappointment.

  9. So much for all the letters that all of the SCI members sent delta to thank them for their support and continuing to ship legally harvested hunting trophies. This knee-jerk reaction will wane once the press quits making this Cecil the Lion a front page news item and we call or email Delta to voice our disappointment in their ill advised decision. None of them realize this does Nothing to stop or prevent poaching and smuggling of ivory and rhino horn. We need to educate them with facts. BTW, there are other airlines like UPS and Turkish Air that are shipping trophy cargo into the US without any issue.

  10. Fortunately there are other ways to get the trophies exported. It’s not just the trophies. Those who hunt and travel for business all over the world should boycott them from all their business trips also. That will have a larger impact financially. So it’s UA, AAA, and Delta to boycott. Hello US Air, Southwest, Frontier!

  11. SCI and NRA where are you? We need your voice and a coordinated strategy to take with respect to the Cecil incident and the airline bans and a way to voice that to the public and the airlines. I understand that if SCI is doing an investigation they may not want to comment on the specifics at this point but there are things that can be said in support of legal hunting and disclosure of hunting laws, such as taking a collared animal in a legal hunting area is permitted in Zimbabwe as long as the collar is returned to the appropriate authorities.

  12. Unfortunately like many endeavors, one or two bad apples spoils the whole bunch, my understanding of sustainable Trophy hunting is to hunt large old males or females that are too old to breed, the case of the Demtist in the news and all over the Internet was definitely not an old male. The lion was actively protecting young cubs. While I’m not a hunter I believe in live and let live, you want to hunt, be my guest, but please leave the endangered species off your list, and hunt truly sustainably. Until hunters get their collective act together and stay away from parks and breeding age animals, I support the airlines decision 100%

  13. Mike, it’s my understand that Cecil was a old lion when killed. 13 years is old. Not a breeder and not taking care of cubs. Old lions get driven out. I believe the photos of him were and when he was in his prime. Word has it from an outfitter from Canada that is in Zim and hunting the actual outfitters area that the lion was taken reported he was 2.4 km from the reserve feeding on an elephant that had died of natural causes. Not lured from the park in other words. It’s hard to know the truth of any story but I bet there is more truth to this than the media version. I have contacted SCI and they are aware of this story. Likely some credibility here as Zimbabwe has lifted the ban on hunting lions. I would happily forward you the letter that I received from the Canadian outfitter that is over there now.

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