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March 19, 2015

Jet Airways Awarded the 2014 Henry Spira Humane Corporate Progress Award

Major airliner recognized for ending shark fin transport

Humane Society International/India

  • Shark fins from India are shipped to various buyers in Southeast Asia, Japan and Dubai using air cargo services. Iris Ho/HSI

Jet Airways – India’s largest international air carrier – has been awarded the Henry Spira Humane Corporate Progress Award for the company’s role in ending the transport of shark fins from India to international shores. The award is given out by The Humane Society of the United States.

In 2014, Humane Society International/India, the international affiliate of The HSUS, began communicating with Jet Airways with a plea to consider a ban on the airline’s transport of shark fins. Soon after, Jet Airways Pvt. Ltd. made public their decision to ban shark fin shipments on all of their airline and cargo services. Jet became the first airline in India to independently implement this policy decision, thereby making a remarkable impact on the shark fin industry which often targets protected species of sharks.

Andrew Rowan, Ph.D., president and CEO of Humane Society International, said “As the leading international air and cargo service provider in India, Jet Airways set an impressive precedent with their decision to ban the shipment of shark fins via their airline. When industry giants such as Jet take such environmentally and socially responsible decisions, it sets a golden standard for the rest of the world to follow. In the coming years, we hope to continue to hear about their pioneering contributions towards the welfare of animals.”

The Henry Spira Humane Corporate Progress Awards acknowledge corporations, individual businesspeople, and other innovators and entrepreneurs for their contributions to the advancement of animal welfare, and to inspire others to include humane concern for animals as a core aspect of corporate social responsibility. The Awards recognize the critical role that the marketplace plays in addressing animal issues and reinforce The HSUS’ positive commitment to the integration of humane principles within business and industry. The Awards are given in memory of Henry Spira (1927-1998), the pioneering animal advocate whose campaign strategies and tactics succeeded in persuading many major corporations to join with animal protectionists in pursuit of common interests.

Nestle, Target, Starbucks and Alsip Home and Nursery also received the Corporate Progress Award for their animal welfare improvements in 2014. Jet Airways was the only non-US based company to be conferred the award in 2014-15.

According to a 2012 study by Pew and TRAFFIC, India is the second largest shark catching nation in the world. Shark fins from India are shipped to various buyers in Southeast Asia, Japan and Dubai using air cargo services. Despite the strict legal protection offered to nearly 10 species of sharks in India, fins from these species continue to be marketed by traders from India. Following its ban on shipment of shark fins, Jet Airways has now joined a growing league of international airlines - which includes Cathay Pacific and Etihad- that are making strict commitments to the protection of sharks in specific and the environment at large.

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Media contacts:

In India: C. Samyukta; 9000846677, csamyukta@hsi.org

In US: Raul Arce-Contreras, rcontreras@humanesociety.org +1 240.620.3263

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