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US Airlines Now Banning Big Game Trophy Shipments

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Yesterday, a handful of US airlines decided to jump in and ban the shipment of hunting trophies worldwide as freight. The New York Times has confirmed that South African Airways, Emirates, Lufthansa and British Airways started their bans earlier this year; then, following the outrage over an American dentist killing Cecil the lion in Zimbabwe, Air France, KLM, Iberia, IAG Cargo, Singapore Airlines and Qantas have declared bans this week.

Delta was the first of the US carriers to prohibit hunting trophies, and United announced its own ban yesterday as well. Then, last night, this ran through our Twitter feed, from American:

Delta’s statement reads as follows:

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.

Frankly, there’s little financial downside and a lot of PR love to be had from these bans, but today, we’re not going to play the cynic. Anything that curbs this disgusting hobby is a win.

With more attention rightly being paid to the issue, people are going to be looking more closely at their African safari vacations. TPG Editorial Intern Danielle Truglio shared a list of safari camps for sustainable, eco-friendly and lion-focused travel — and a few foundations where your contributions will directly help lions.

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