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August 5, 2015

Humane Society International/Canada Commends Air Canada for Transport Ban on “Big Five” Animal Trophies

Humane Society International/Canada

  • Vanessa Mignon.

This week, in the wake of global outrage over the tragic death of Cecil the lion at the hands of an American trophy hunter, Air Canada announced it would join a growing number of airlines in prohibiting air shipments of trophy animal parts from the “Africa Big Five” species. Gabriel Wildgen, campaign manager for HSI/Canada, stated:

“Once again, Air Canada has taken a leadership role in helping to improve animal welfare globally. By prohibiting transport of body parts from lions, leopards, elephants, rhinoceros and Cape buffalo, Canada’s national airline is making it more difficult for trophy hunters to kill these majestic creatures. As was the case with Cecil the lion, the victims of trophy hunting often suffer slow, agonizing deaths so that hunters can bring back so-called ‘trophies’ such as tusks, heads and skins. Trophy hunting fuels demand for these animal parts, which in turn incentivizes the illegal poaching of these species. Now that conscientious airlines such as Air Canada are taking a stand, trophy hunters will find it far less appealing to travel overseas to slaughter wild animals. We commend Air Canada for its commitment to compassion and its forward-thinking policies that protect both the animals and the values of its clients.”

Tell major airlines to stop shipping Big Five trophies!.


  • In recent weeks, the tragic demise of Cecil the lion, at the hands of an American trophy hunter, has made global headlines.
  • Earlier this week, the Humane Society of the United States (HSI’s American partner group) contacted more than one dozen airlines around the world, including Air Canada, requesting that they immediately stop the shipment of trophies of the African “Big Five” (lion, leopard, elephant, rhinoceros, Cape buffalo)
  • On Tuesday, Air Canada stated publicly that it would immediately prohibit shipments of lion, leopard, elephant, rhinoceros and Cape buffalo trophies worldwide as freight.
  • In addition to Air Canada, 16 airlines, including United Airlines, American Airlines, Delta and British Airways have prohibited shipment of trophies from the African “Big Five.”
  • Between 2003 and 2012, Canada imported trophies of about 103 lions, or about 10 per year.
  • Trophy hunting threatens the survival of many species including lions, the wild populations of which have declined by 50 percent in the past 30 years largely due to trophy hunting. As was so clearly illustrated by the Cecil case, trophy hunters often commit illegal acts in pursuit of their prey.
  • In 2012, following a campaign by HSI, Air Canada announced it would stop shipments of non-human primates to laboratories.

Media Contact: Christopher Paré, 514 395-2914, cpare@hsi.org

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