By Leya Musa
As South African Airways (SAA) pushes ahead to be one of the most sustainable airlines in the world the company has announced an immediate ban on the transport of hunting trophies on its passenger and cargo planes. The decision was made last week and formally announced yesterday.
In January this year SAA was only the second global airline to pass stage 2 of the IATA Environmental Assessment Programme in order to be independently recognised for the sustainability of it’s operations.
This new announcement goes even further and helps to recognise that most passengers that SAA carry go to Africa to enjoy the sights and sounds of living creatures and do not go there to kill it’s most wonderful species and wildlife.
Speaking to media yesterday Tim Clyde-Smith, SAA’s Country Manager, Australasia said, “Hunting of endangered species has become a major problem in Africa and elsewhere with the depletion to near extinction of wildlife that once roamed in prolific numbers. SAA has taken the step of banning all transportation of animals killed in hunting activity as a result,”
He continued, “In consultation with key authorities, SAA will no longer support game hunters by carrying their trophies back to their country of origin. The vast majority of tourists visit Africa in particular to witness the wonderful wildlife that remains. We consider it our duty to work to ensure this is preserved for future generations and that we deter activity that puts this wonderful resource in danger,”
The trophy transport ban will cover species such as elephant, rhinoceros, lion and tiger.
With many more travellers and especially those who undertake eco-tours taking greater care in choosing their holiday travel company it can only be hoped that the move by South African Airways is the first of a number of carriers who will also announce a ban on the support to the hunting industry.
While the hunting industry may be important at the top end of the market the majority of people appreciate the value of living wildlife over the enjoyment of killing wildlife.