US-based animal protection agency has petitioned all airlines around the world including Air Namibia and SAA to end transporting of hunting trophies (The Namibia Press Agency)

A United States of America (USA)-based animal protection agency has petitioned all airlines around the world, including Air Namibia and South African Airways (SAA), to end the transporting of hunting trophies.

Humane Society International (HSI) Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Andrew Rowan in a media statement issued yesterday urged Namibia and South Africa to abandon trophy hunting in favor of non-consumptive ecotourism.

Almost 20 major international airlines and carriers, including Delta, United Airlines, Air Canada and Air France changed their shipment policies to exclude hunting trophies following the international outcry caused by the death of Cecil the lion in Zimbabwe at the hands of an American trophy hunter in July 2015.

Pressure is mounting for a ban on the import of hunting trophies to the European Union (EU) and the USA. During May this year the world’s largest airline, Emirates, issued an outright ban on hunting trophy cargo, sending the hunting industry into a tailspin, as South Africa’s national carrier SAA also issued a temporary embargo. SAA has since overturned its decision.

Rowan said trophy hunting contributes a small fraction of the dollars generated by non-hunting tourism in Africa.