World Animal Protection recently started an anti-pet trade campaign as animals are “rapidly disappearing from the planet” due to poaching, hunting, smuggling, and other human-related reasons.
Part of the campaign includes setting up a fake online wildlife shop where the organization “sells” endangered Asian otters, African grey parrots, and Indian star tortoises so people would get a chance to own the wild animals before they are “poached out of existence.”
The organization also offered to ship the animals directly to consumers’ doors for free via Turkish Airlines as it is used by smugglers to transport endangered animals for exotic pet trade.
“Humans have been sharing their homes with domesticated animals for millenia. But a darker side of the pet trade has exploded in recent times: exotic pets,” says World Animal Protection.
“Cruelty and suffering is unavoidable in the catching or breeding, sale and ownership of these wild animals.”
“By failing to properly check its cargo and train its staff, Turkish Airlines has put these wild animals through immense cruelty and suffering.”
World Animal Protection urged the public to sign a petition urging Turkish airlines to stop transporting birds until it is sure that all endangered birds and other wild animals are not being flown illegally on their planes.
The petition has garnered more than 188,000 signatures, pushing Turkish Airlines to collaborate with the animal welfare organization in intercepting the smuggling of African grey parrots out of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), where the animals are usually being illegally transported from.
“We’re pleased the airline is open to working together to implement far-reaching changes to defend African grey parrots from cruelty,” said World Animal Protection.
“We hope this work will help protect other wildlife caught in the illegal exotic pet trade too.”
“We’re looking forward to working with Turkish Airlines and Turkish Cargo to move the world for African grey parrots and other wild animals in the cruel exotic pet trade.”
The Turkish Airlines petition is already closed but the public can still sign the World Animal Protection pledge to commit to not purchasing wildlife as a pet.