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Emirates not to fly with animal hunting trophies

DUBAI: Emirates airline has imposed blanket ban on carrying hunting trophies of elephants, rhinos, tigers and lions on all its aircrafts, according to a media report.

The airline already has a ban in place on products and parts of endangered animals and plants listed under appendix I of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (Cites), The National report.

The new policy, which came into effect on Friday, bans such cargo whether the animals are protected by Cites or not. An Emirates Skycargo spokesman was quoted as saying, “As part of our efforts to prevent the illegal trade in trophies of elephant, rhinoceros, lion and tiger, we will not accept any kind of hunting trophies of these animals for carriage on Emirates services irrespective of the Cites appendix.”

The Emirates has reportedly joined the leagues of other carriers with similar bans, including South African Airways, which introduced the rules last month.

The ban could, however, affect the Abu Dhabi International Hunting and Equestrian Exhibition, an annual event where taxidermists from around the world show their work.

Charles Le Roux, a taxidermist who appeared at Adihex last year, reportedly said UAE consumers were not as enthusiastic about mounted heads or taxidermy, but the ban would have an effect.

The ban also reinforces the UAE policy of zero tolerance for illegal wildlife hunting, the news report said.

Last month, 10 tonnes of smuggled elephant ivory worth more than US$20 million (Dh73.4m) were destroyed while security officials at Dubai International Airport confiscated 84 African elephant tusks that were in transit between the Ivory Coast and Vietnam, the news portal reported.

In 2012 and 2013, Dubai Customs intercepted shipments containing 474 ivory tusks at Jebel Ali Port. Last year, authorities seized 301 pieces of ivory at the airport.

The illegal wildlife trade is estimated to generate US$19 billion (Dh70bn) a year globally, ranking fourth on the list of the most lucrative illegal activities, behind drugs, counterfeiting and human trafficking, The National reported.

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