Marking World Elephant Day on August 12, local budget airline HK Express has announced a new policy to ban ivory cargo, making it the first airline in Hong Kong to do so.
HK Express are pioneers when it comes to sustainable and ethical practices, having been the first Hong Kong airline to ban shark fin cargo last year. The decision to ban ivory cargo comes after the recent Hong Kong government proposal to ban all local ivory trade by 2021. More than 20,000 elephants are killed due to ivory poaching each year, meaning 60 percent of all elephant deaths annually are caused by this horrendous practice.
An international ban on ivory trade was made at the 1989 Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, but sadly, illegal poaching continues. In Hong Kong, sales of ivory acquired before the ban still remain legal. Disappointingly, our city ranks fifth in the world for ivory smuggling and sales, with Hong Kong Customs seizing 7.2 tonnes of smuggled tusks last month alone, making it one of the largest ivory busts in the past thirty years.
This new policy will hopefully raise awareness and lead the ways for other ivory cargo bans across the world and we applaud HK Express' corporate social responsibility and commitment to preserving the environment.