ROME – Italian airline, ITA Airways, announces its support of the campaign #NotInMyWorld of the global animal protection charity Humane Society International/Europe. The airline has adopted a new corporate policy that prohibits the transportation of hunting trophies on all company flights, both as cargo and as passenger baggage. This stands as a significant testament to the Company’s commitment to wildlife conservation, as well as a substantial contribution to ending trophy hunting and fostering business practices that acknowledge the global community’s responsibility for biodiversity protection.
Hundreds of thousands of animals globally, including endangered and threatened species, are killed by trophy hunters for amusement and boasting, contributing to the decline of wild populations,
conservation challenges, and inhumane practices. Unlike subsistence hunting, the primary motivation for those engaged in this activity is to kill animals for competition and entertainment, targeting rare or highly sought after animals for their physical characteristics (thick manes, long tusks, overall size, etc.) and turning them into trophies for display to showcase success in hunting. Considering that a significant number of trophy hunters who book overseas hunting trips intend to transport their macabre souvenirs back home, the transportation sector plays a key role in facilitating this ethically questionable and harmful industry.
On a national level, ITA Airways’ commitment holds particular significance since Italy ranks among the primary importers of hunting trophies in Europe. Between 2014 and 2021, 442 hunting trophies from mammals protected under CITES (the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species) were imported, including hippos, rhinos, elephants, and lions. These data reveal the country’s active involvement in the trophy hunting industry, despite a survey indicating that 86% of Italians oppose this practice, with 74% supporting a legislative ban on trophy imports.
By joining the campaign, ITA Airways has taken several measures including:
Addition of hunting trophies to the list of prohibited items: ITA Airways has expanded the list of prohibited items for transportation in both passenger baggage and cargo, expressly
including hunting trophies. This clear prohibition ensures that such items are not accepted on ITA Airways flights.
Online publication of the policy: The hunting trophy policy has been published on the ITA Airways’ official website, providing transparency and accessibility to the new directives. This step reflects the Company’s commitment to open and responsible communication.
Update of operational manuals for cargo and ground procedures: ITA Airways has reviewed and updated its operations manuals, ensuring that the new provisions regarding hunting
trophies are fully integrated into cargo procedures and ground operations.
Dissemination of the policy to staff, hubs, and suppliers: The new policy has been disseminated at all levels of the Company, including flight and ground staff, as well as suppliers and hubs where the airline operates. This dissemination ensures full understanding and adherence to the new provisions regarding hunting trophies.
Giovanna Di Vito, ITA Airways’ Chief Program Office, ESG & Customer Operations, emphasizes “Our firm support for Humane Society International/Europe’s campaign to stop the import of hunting trophies into Italy and Europe reflects ITA Airways’ ongoing commitment to the planet, our country, and communities. Our Company’s new policy, which formalizes a ban on the carriage of hunting trophies on its flights, is a concrete action, our contribution to the protection of wildlife and the promotion of that protection. Indeed, we believe that companies have a key role in supporting and spreading ethical practices that represent real progress toward a more responsible and sustainable future.”
Martina Pluda, Director of Humane Society International/Europe in Italy, states: “ITA Airways’ support to our campaign and their new policy represent a highly significant contribution to the goal of ending cruel trophy hunting. In fact, the corporate sector also plays a huge role in the collective action necessary to protect threatened wildlife globally. With HSI/Europe’s #NotInMyWorld campaign, we continue to strengthen our commitment to the preservation of endangered animal species and flora and for the introduction of bans on import, export and re-export of hunting trophies from protected animals in Italy and Europe.”