Cargolux is placing a ban on the transport of lion bones in an effort to curb and deter what it says is a “worrying new trend in wildlife trafficking”.
The carrier says 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 Cargolux’s stance on wildlife conservation.
Cargolux is among the first major cargo carriers to ban these shipments. It also highlights that although the company has not yet been approached to handle such commodities, it is crucial to take the stance in order raise awareness within the industry and promote ethical operations.
Richard Forson, Cargolux president and CEO states: “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 recognise their responsibility towards wildlife trafficking and take all applicable measures to eliminate this trade.”
This position is echoed by Michele Pickover, director of the EMS Foundation: “Thank you very much to Cargolux for being so proactive and transparent and taking note of our Extinction Business Report findings by placing a pre-emptive ban on the transport of lion bones. We are absolutely delighted.”
Pickover goes on to say that this move will go some way in disrupting this “abhorrent and cruel trade”. He adds that it also sets an 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, he says. “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 as part of its Corporate Social Responsibility and sustainability philosopy.
As part of its Live Animal transportation policy, Cargolux operates in full compliance with the IATA Live Animal Regulations (LAR) and the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES). Cargolux is also a member of IPATA (International Pet and Animal Transportation Association), ATA (Animal Transport Association), and IATA LAPB (IATA Live Animal and Perishable Board), as well as a signatory of the United for Wildlife International Taskforce on the Transportation of Illegal Wildlife Products.