23 July 2015, Johannesburg – South African Airways Cargo (SAA Cargo) has reviewed and reversed its decision to place an embargo on the transportation of hunting trophies which was limited to rhino, elephant, tiger and lion.
The embargo was placed following incidents of false declarations and submission of falsified documentation for the shipment of some hunting trophies. “As a responsible air transport service provider, we make an effort to ensure that our business is in harmony with government policy, compliant with international protocols and that the operational decisions we make must advance the interests of the company. Embargoes are placed occasionally influenced by circumstance at the time. These can also be lifted when situations change or improve,” said Tlali Tlali, South African Airways spokesperson.
Since the placement of the embargo in April 2015, SAA Cargo has been engaging with the Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) on the issue. DEA is the custodian of hunting and transportation permits and key stakeholder in this matter.
“We have decided to lift the embargo after extensive engagements with the DEA and the commitment we received that the compliance and inspection areas will be strengthened to ensure that the risk of shipment of illicit goods and falsification of permits and documentation is eliminated,” said Tlali.
SAA issued a statement on 30 April 2015 about the embargo where it indicated that “SAA Cargo will keep the embargo in place until all other options have been considered and stricter control measures have been put in place to prevent a recurrence”. SAA is now satisfied that the additional measures are adequate to address the operational concerns it had and offers to continue to work together with the DEA in curbing the illegal transportation of wildlife.
The embargo is lifted with immediate effect.