South African Airways will help combat wildlife trafficking by training employees to detect smuggled animals.

Staff will be trained to identify cases of wildlife trafficking and how to report them. SAA has also joined the Illegal Wildlife Trade Module of the Iata Environmental Assessment Programme.

“In its effort to fight against illegal wildlife trade, SAA recently conducted an awareness campaign among its employees to demonstrate how a trained dog can reinforce detection efforts to combat wildlife trafficking in the air transport industry,” says SAA spokesperson, Tlali Tlali.

Some 42% of trafficked wildlife is smuggled in luggage checked in at airports. According to the USAID Reducing Opportunities for Unlawful Transport of Endangered Species, much smuggled wildlife and related products originate in Africa. In air trafficking of animals, most common goods include ivory, rhino horn, pangolin scales, tortoises, abalone and Nile crocodiles.