Delta, United and American Airlines have banned the shipment of big-game trophies on flights. The airlines announced that they would no longer transport lion, rhinoceros, leopard, elephant or buffalo remains.
They have not given official reasons for their announcements, but it is widely believed to be a result of a huge public outcry over the killing of Zimbabwean celebrity Cecil the lion.
Delta flies direct to a number of African cities and was subjected to an online petition to ban shipments of game trophies from hunters or collectors, though as recently as May it had said it would continue to allow trophy shipments. American Airlines and United fly to fewer sub-Saharan cities than Delta, but United tweeted that its decision to stop carrying trophies was “effective immediately”.
United spokesman Charles Hobart said: “We felt it made sense to do so.”
“Effective immediately, Delta will officially ban shipment of all lion, leopard, elephant, rhinoceros and buffalo trophies worldwide as freight”
This move follows similar announcements from a number of other airlines, including KLM, Air France and Qantas, who banned certain hunting trophies from being carried on their flights following the condemnation of Cecil the lion’s killer, Walter Palmer.
Travel industry consultant Henry Harteveldt said: “I don’t think there was much of this shipment taking place, so there is minimal revenue loss and big PR gain for them.”