A couple of lawmakers are banding together to call in airlines to reassess their policies when it comes to carrying hunting trophies.
Sens. Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut and Cory Booker of New Jersey said they wrote to Airlines for America and International Air Transport Association to request details of their members’ policies of shipping killed animals.
This comes in the wake of the killing of Cecil the lion in Zimbabwe. Officials in that country said the animal was lured out and hunted down by an American dentist.
Since the story made international headlines, Delta, United and American airlines, which are members of A4A and IATA, announced that they will ban the shipment of trophy animals on their planes.
“Americans who engage in trophy hunting do so because they are confident that they will be able to transport their trophies back to the United States with ease, including by airline,” Blumenthal wrote in the letter. “Passenger and freight airlines that permit shipment of animal trophies aid and abet trophy hunting and these abhorrent acts of barbarism.”
Blumenthal said he was pleased with Delta’s announcement banning the so-called Africa Big Five, which includes lions, elephants, rhinos, leopards and buffalo. United, American and other international airlines followed suit.
“These airlines have clearly recognized their responsibility and influence in this area,” he said. “And we’re glad that they chose to take on trophy hunters and the trouble that trophy hunting represents.”
Last week, Blumenthal joined several other lawmakers in proposing a bill meant to curb the killing of animals for sport. They called it the CECIL act.
Many hunters argue that what they do assists wild life refuges by funneling money back into conservation efforts.
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