Cargolux has banned transport of lion bones via its freighter network which it said has been done in an “effort to curb and deter this worrying new trend in wildlife trafficking”.
The Luxembourg-based carrier said this traffic has been growing over the past decade and is closely linked to both poaching and lion breeding for trophy hunts, practices that do not align with its own stance on wildlife conservation.
Cargolux is among the first major cargo carriers to ban these shipments and though it said it has not been approached to handle such commodities, it is crucial to take this stance in order raise awareness within the industry and promote ethical operations.
Cargolux president and chief executive officer, Richard Forson said: “Cargolux is strongly committed to conservation and animal welfare, a cause that the company increasingly engages in wherever possible.
“Once we became aware of the emergence of this trade, the decision was immediately taken to ban the transport of such cargo throughout our network. It is highly important that all players in the transport industry recognize their responsibility towards wildlife trafficking and take all applicable measures to eliminate this trade.”
EMS Foundation director, Michele Pickover welcomed the move and that the carrier had taken note of its Extinction Business Report.
He added: “This positive decision, will go some way in disrupting this abhorrent and cruel trade. It also sets a great example to all the other Cargo Airlines to take more ethical decisions when it comes to the international wildlife trade.
“Many airlines may be unaware of the trade itself or its implications for both African Lions and Asian Tigers. I believe that once they are informed about what this trade entails they took the correct and logical decision not to support it.”
Lion bone and body parts are the latest addition to a growing list of items that Cargolux refuses to carry, on any of its network routes, for ethical reasons.
Cargolux is a signatory of the United for Wildlife International Taskforce on the Transportation of Illegal Wildlife Products.