ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates – Etihad Airways, the national airline of the UAE, has launched a new Animal Welfare and Conservation Policy and an #Etihad4wildlife social media competition as part of the airline’s ongoing efforts to promote wildlife conservation.
The policy establishes best practice for excursions offered by Etihad Holidays involving animals, and also outlines new criteria for the carriage of endangered and threatened species, hunting trophies containing any animal parts, shark fins and live animals intended for use in scientific research, which will not be permitted on aircraft. The policy also sets out commitments to the Declaration of the United for Wildlife International Taskforce on the Transportation of Illegal Wildlife Products, to which Etihad Airways became a signatory in March 2016 at an official ceremony at Buckingham Palace. Six equity partner airlines followed suit in April and June to support efforts to prevent the growing trade in wildlife products.
To mark World Animal Day, Etihad Airways is running a social media competition until 6 October, to win a trip to Sri Lanka, including flights, hotels, tours and transfers. To be in with a chance of winning, entrants should share their best travel photos of animals in the wild using the #Etihad4wildlife hashtag on Instagram and Twitter.
Peter Baumgartner, Chief Executive Officer of Etihad Airways, said: “Our airline is committed to the welfare and protection of wildlife. Our new policy has been developed over several months to minimise our ‘animal footprint’ and will ensure that we continue to meet the highest standards of animal welfare. By hosting the #Etihad4Wildlife campaign online, we also hope to raise awareness among our guests of the important issue of wildlife conservation.”
On 10 October, Etihad Airways will host a discussion on wildlife within the airline industry with Will Travers OBE, President of the Born Free Foundation and internationally renowned wildlife expert. The Born Free Foundation has provided technical assistance in developing the airline’s new policy by offering best practice criteria on holiday activities that involve viewing or interacting with animals. Etihad Holidays has reviewed its offerings in accordance with the Association of British Travel Agents’ (ABTA) Global Welfare Guidance of Animals in Tourism.
In addition, the airline is supporting the Born Free Foundation’s Travellers’ Animal Alert – an online tool that gives holiday-makers around the world an opportunity to raise concerns about any cases of animal suffering encountered on their trips. Guests who wish to support the charity in the air can purchase a bracelet, featuring a silver African lion charm, or donate their Etihad Guest Miles when on the ground.