Hong Kong Airlines has bowed to pressure from customers and animal welfare groups to stop transporting live dolphins.
The carrier earned $110,000 in January for carrying five dolphins from a notorious dolphin slaughter bay in Japan to Vietnam, according to an internal memo leaked to the Chinese media. Animal welfare groups said the dolphins were in “flying coffins” for up to seven hours in transit from Osaka to Hanoi.
In a statement released earlier today, HKA said it had carried the dolphins in compliance with government rules and International Air Transport Association live animal regulations. However, after consulting with welfare groups, HKA said it had been persuaded that providing transportation for this type of cargo could result in the endangerment of wildlife.
“Hong Kong Airlines will immediately ban shipments of this kind,” added a statement.
“As a demonstration of its commitment to the environment and enlightenment by the organisations, Hong Kong Airlines will make a donation to an appropriate wildlife charity.”
The carrier declind to comment when asked how large the donation would be and what had happened to the five dolphins once they were delivered to Hanoi.
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