Delta's decision is ‘ill informed’

The Environmental Affairs Department has criticised the American airlines' decision to ban animal trophies.

FILE: The US is believed to be one of the key players in South Africa’s hunting industry. Picture: AFP.

JOHANNESBURG - The Environmental Affairs Department says it's disappointed that American airline, Delta has now joined a number of others in banning the transportation of animal trophies.

There has been growing pressure for airlines to review their cargo policies, since the death of Cecil the lion, who was shot dead by a US dentist in Zimbabwe last month.

The department has criticized Delta airline's decision, saying this may have a direct impact on the legitimate trade in animal trophies, more especially South Africa's economy.

"Hunting as a sector contributes just about R6.2 billion a year and is a major contributor to South Africa's economy."

Modise says there needs to be a clear distinction between the legal trade in and transportation of animal trophies.

He has described Delta's move as 'ill advised'

"Going forward we are going to engage with Delta, to ensure that we get them to understand that there is a legal form of hunting which is happening within a regulated space and that we need to work together to ensure that we root out illegal and rogue elements."

The US is believed to be one of the key players in South Africa's hunting industry.