Officials in South Africa and Namibia are speaking out against Delta Air Lines’ decision to no longer allow parts of animals killed in hunts on its planes. The airline announced Monday that it was banning so-called trophies from lion, leopard, elephant, rhinoceros or buffalo hunts on all flights.
“The decision by Delta Air Lines to enforce a blanket ban fails to distinguish between the trade in and transportation of legally acquired wildlife specimens, and the illegal exploitation and trade in wildlife specimens,” South Africa’s environment ministry said in a statement to the Associated Press.
Delta’s decision came after widespread outrage over the killing of a beloved lion named Cecil in Zimbabwe by an American dentist. Officials said the ban will hurt the $500 million hunting industry in the country. Namibia officials said their economy would also be adversely affected.