Turkish Airlines and Cargo has issued a global embargo to stop transporting African grey parrots on any of their planes.
The announcement follows a World Animal Protection (WAP) investigation which revealed the airline may have been used in the illegal trafficking of exotic animals.
According to the investigation, poachers used the airline and its cargo carrier to illegally transport wild-caught African grey parrots on flights from Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Nigeria and Mali to countries in the Middle East, western and southern Asia.
The exotic pet trade is a growing multibillion-dollar industry that’s having a devastating impact on wildlife populations across the world.
“This is an encouraging start and we are pleased that Turkish Airlines and Cargo have moved so quickly,” WAP said in a statement.
“It’s a positive result for African grey parrots, but we must keep pressing forward to find solutions to address the illegal trafficking that our investigations uncovered.”
According to WAP, once a wild-caught animal is on someone’s home, there is no realistic way to replicate the space and freedom these animals would have in the wild.
Many animals are kept in spaces vastly smaller than their natural habitats and they don’t have the correct nutrition, even if owners have the best intentions to feed them properly.
“Most people buy exotic pets because they love animals – but any wild animal in the exotic pet trade experiences extreme suffering,” WAP said.
To help end the cruel exotic pet trade, World Animal Protection is also urging people to not buy, own or breed a wild animal as a pet. Wild animals are not pets, they belong in the wild.