© Johannes Gerhardus Swanepoel

This story is easy proof that IATA’s initiative to stop the illegal trade in wildlife is crucial. Qatar Airways unwittingly flew a shipment of rhino horns from Mozambique to Malaysia, where it was discovered at Kuala Lumpur Airport. It was declared as “objects of art” and all the documents were falsified – and that is where the difficulties lie. At the World Cargo Symposium in Abu Dhabi last month, Etihad described the difficulties airlines have in detecting illegal shipments which are misdeclared. But the carrier also noted that traders tended to use the same routes and declarations, meaning that Qatar – and other airlines –  should now check all similar shipments. And cooperation between carriers on this issue would not go amiss.

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