European airlines accused of abetting illegal pet trade

Tennyson Williams
World Animal Protection regional director for Africa Tennyson Williams speaks during the release of a report on wildlife trafficking at the Stanley Hotel in Nairobi on February 4, 2019. PHOTO | SALATON NJAU  

A UK-based lobby group has accused European airlines of fuelling illegal wildlife trade, threatening the existence of some of the treasured animals in Africa.

The World Animal Protection, citing its own investigation, says the airlines have been aiding exotic pet trade despite making a commitment to combat wildlife trading.

“The airlines have been used to illegally transport African grey parrots on flights from African countries to the Middle-East, and western and southern Asia,” says the report that was released in Nairobi on Monday.

The report shows millions of wild animals are being captured from their habitats to be sold into exotic pet trade in what is becoming a multi-billion dollar business.

“Whether they are traded legally or illegally, keeping wild animals as pets is cruel,” said the lobby’s director for African office, Tennyson Williams.

The report says most of these animals die on transit as they are stuffed in crates, rendering them unable to breathe properly.

“Most of these wild animals will suffocate, starve or succumb to diseases before they reach their new artificial home as pets,” says the group.