London, UNITED KINGDOM
A petition launched five months ago on the website change.org by people angry that delivery parcel service UPS are shipping the remains of wild animals by hunters as trophies is receiving renewed attention and larger ground among supporters, the Half-Eaten Mind exclusively reports. The petition, created by Briton Paul Tully from Durham, calls on UPS, one of the world’s largest shippers, to cease providing services for people to send back ‘trophies’ from animal safaris in locations such as Africa.
The trading in such animal trophies has come to the fore following the slaughtering of a protected Zimbabwean lion named Cecil earlier this year by a dentist from Minnesota, USA. The hunter, Walter Palmer, became public enemy number one, and his dental practice in Bloomington was the target of protests.
The petition, which has so far reached 2,417 of the required 10,000 signatures and has gained more than 7,500 supporters on change.org, demands that UPS and David Abney, its chief executive officer “immediately ban the shipment of hunting trophies of endangered and threatened species”.
Paul Tully has lent his support to fellow protestors from the United States who have already rallied against UPS’ policy on importing hunters’ trophies, but he claims in a statement on the petition that UPS has so far ignored pleas to end its role in this controversial trade.
Tully also urged UPS to “urgently reassess (their) current unethical and immoral stance” and their “injustice to wildlife”. He also urged the company to take a stand and to not give into alleged pressure from the hunting lobby.
Several U.S. and international airlines had already banned the carrying of animal parts from hunting expeditions on their flights, including Delta Airlines, United Airlines, the U.K’s British Airways and the UAE’s Emirates SkyCargo cargo service.
According to U.K paper The Express, UPS and fellow delivery firm FedEx has so far refused to stop shipping of trophies from big game hunts. A previous petition against UPS attracted 200,000 signatures, causing the firm to hold a public relations meeting. The company’s head of PR, Steve Gaut agreed to view protesters’ concerns but later said that the policy of freely accepting business from hunters would continue, citing that trophies made up less then 1 per cent of UPS’ business.
A spokesman for UPS told VICE that it “is strongly against the trafficking or trade of endangered species” but “accepts for shipment taxidermy items that are legally obtained and appropriately documented”.
Anti-hunting protestors and environmental groups claim that over 26,000 wild hunting trophies were shipped around the world between 2010 and 2014, ranging from eggs to pelts.