Virgin Atlantic Cargo calls for ethical standards for airfreight
05 / 08 / 2015
Virgin Atlantic Cargo has called for the creation of an industry-wide ethical cargo policy that will identify shipments not acceptable for carriage in the aftermath of the killing of Cecil the lion.
The UK airline, which already has an ethical cargo policy in place, called for an industry-wide agreement that would duty-bound all airlines to eliminate shipments such as hunting trophies and endangered species.
Virgin said an agreement would also remove confusion and inconsistency from the market.
The call comes after American, United and Delta this week announced they would no longer ship lion, leopard, elephant, rhino or buffalo killed by trophy hunters following on from a public outcry when an American dentist killed well-known Cecil the lion in an allegedly illegal hunt.
Virgin Atlantic senior vice president cargo John Lloyd said: “As part of our ethical cargo policy adopted a number of years ago, we do not carry certain cargoes including hunting trophies, endangered species, shark fins and any animals for research purposes.
“It’s great to see other carriers adopting similar policies but an industry-wide agreement that all airlines support would be a significant step forward in helping to prevent such shipments.”
Virgin believes the agreement signed in June by the Convention on the International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) and IATA to reduce illegal trade in wildlife and products that come from animals could “become the catalyst for this much-needed change”.
CITES and IATA agreed to create a formal framework for their ongoing cooperation on the implementation of standards and best practices such as the IATA Live Animals Regulations, the IATA Perishable Cargo Regulations, and the CITES Guidelines for the Non-Air Transport of Live Wild Animals and Plants.
They will also support joint training and communications activities to reduce illegal trade and ensure the safe transport of legally traded wildlife.