South African Airways bans all wildlife trophies from flights

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Trophy hunters may need to find another flight home, as South African Airlines (SAA) has announced a new ban on any wildlife trophies from their flights.

“Hunting of 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,” said Tim Clyde-Smith of SAA.

According to TakePart, SAA made the decision after wildlife traffickers used the airline to attempt to smuggle ivory to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia last month. The illegal goods were confiscated en route in Australia. Still, the new ban will apply to any wildlife trophies, including animals legally killed with proper regulatory documents.

bans all wildlife trophies from flights

“SAA will no longer support game hunters by carrying their trophies back to their country of origin,” said Clyde-Smith. “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 debate over in Africa is rising as many of the continent’s most beloved mammals—including lions, elephants, rhinos, and giraffes—face precipitous declines. A shocking study in 2011 found that populations of large African mammals had dropped by 58 percent in just 40 years.

Trophy hunters contend that their hunts provide much needed conservation funds to governments and local communities living with wildlife, and helps keep wilderness protected. But many environmentalists say trophy hunting threatens already declining populations, disrupts animal communities, sends mixed messages to the public, and is simply immoral. The argument has ratcheted up in recent years as the epidemic shows no signs of stopping across the continent with tens-of-thousands of elephants killed every year and over a thousand rhinos.

Target species range widely for trophy hunters, but include everything from crocodiles to caracals to baboons. Price also vary—depending on the company—but big game hunters can expect to pay tens-of-thousands of US dollars in trophy fees to kill an elephant or a male lion. But for a few hundred dollars you can kill an ostrich, duiker, or warthog—and it’s just around $50 for a trophy fee to shoot a vervet monkey or a porcupine.

SAA airlines is one of the largest on the continent and a member of Star Alliance.

This article was first published by on 14 May 2015.


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Delbert Smith

Anita Willemse Because these are not crimes, even GOd put man to rule over animals. Hunting produces far more money that you can imagine and employees millions of people. Without hunting, today we in the USA would not have whitetail deer nor turkey nor the ducks and many more species. Hunting has added millions of dollars to the care of the animals. Try hunting with a dart gun. The animals in the farms would never have existed if it were not for hunting. Poaching is what has hurt the rhino, those dumb Chinese thinking rhino horn will help with their… Read more »

Anita Willemse

I wonder why you defend these pervers crimes? may be you get a kick by killing too?

Anita Willemse

these people should not have the right to live! I think they deserve life penalty for their psychopatic relentless way of killing these mighty beautiful animals instead of saving wildlife. Wildlife has already almost gone everywhere and these criminals make it even worse!

Mark McCandlish

Well Chris, it's not as though the trophy hunters do not have shipment alternatives like FedEx, DHL, or UPS, so this exclusion by the airline doesn't end trophy hunting and the associated "hunting license/ conservation fees" that might benefit wildlife preservation. I can't imagine that hunters can wait several weeks for a qualified taxidermist to break down the trophy animal and mount its head (as despicable as I personally find the practice) so in a way, I kind of wonder if the airline is motivated by a desire to avoid shipment of a carcass (or parts thereof) and the odor… Read more »


Nothing like hindering conservation


I do not care how you want to put the icing on the cake! Trophy hunting/canned hunting is not humane. You tell me how this hunting stated by Chris Miller how game farms help in the conservation of wildlife. The animals in the farms are raised to be killed. !! They can not be freed to be wild..they are shot and killed by morons who get a thrill out of killing something. You always make excuses for your desire to kill!.

Maria Manuela Lopes

Hunting or poaching is the same. We must stop that

Chris Miller

Diana Burton- that sounds wonderful !!
But sadly very unpractical and not workable.
The few wildlife reserves that operate this way are already over populated by tourists! So much so that wildlife numbers are falling due to disturbance from the vast amounts people .Also reserves run by tourism earnings alone cannot generate the amount of money than reserves that allow hunting.
Hunting reserves are managed, so they are sustainable, healthy breeding populations of game animals indefinitely. Very little disturbance from humans, 24 protection by wardens. Wildlife safaris for photographers cannot generate the amount of income for sustainability

Delbert Smith

Poaching is not hunting.

Delbert Smith

It is really funny how many people who have never donated enough money to matter to wildlife lip off. If you have been to RSA and not been just a tourist, you will realize how important to the economy hunting is. Sad you act on emotions based on the cartoons you have seen. Not facts.

Delbert Smith

All the animals will not be killed off, there are many more now than years ago when much of RSA was cattle ranches.

Chris Miller

Mark McCandlish- You are correct about the numbers of Northern White Rhino. Poaching reduced the numbers of this species, most in the 1970s, numbers dropped from around 500 in 1970, down to only 15 by 1976. This was all down to poaching, all demand for the Asian market for rhino horn and body parts, not legal Trophy hunters. B all demand for the Asian market for rhino horn and body parts, not legal Trophy hunters. But I feel you may be missing my point, the point I was trying to make The reserves and farms are under 24 hour survalance… Read more »

Diana Burton

So once all the animals are killed with no animals what are the so called legal hunters going to shoot. Better to make Safari trips for us all to see the wild life thriving.

Jerry Curtis

Two thumbs-up!

Mark McCandlish

To Chris Miller- I respectfully disagree. Game farms never helped the Northern White Rhino. There may be only five or six remaining in the wild, with only one known male too old to breed. I'd really like to know when some of those billionaires out there- (Elon Musk ; coincidentally from South Africa) and Bill Gates- when are they going to kick in some serious money to help stop poaching and re-establish these dwindling species of animals?

Liv Fröhlich

Well done South African Airlines! (Y) <3

Chris Miller

Africa's large mammal decline is due to over population & poaching, not trophie hunters!!! Asia's lust for wild animal parts is now the biggest threat to large game animals. And as those countries get economically wealthier, then the threat to wildlife will become greater and the demand ever increasing. Game farms and game reserves keep a large nucleus of wild life protected and create a large amount of jobs for local people. Legal trophie hunters hunt on these reserves, this is what pays for reserves and farms to continue. Penalise the legal hunters by not allowing them to take their… Read more »

Doris Charles

Great news.


schorem en ze kijken ook nog trots die imbecielen

Anne Grice

These bloodied psychopaths should not be allowed on any airlines!

Julie Beddome