9 Dec 2014

Prince William praises Air NZ

9:50 am on 9 December 2014

Prince William has praised Air New Zealand for taking a lead in boycotting cargo that aids illegal trade in wildlife.

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Photo: RNZ / Diego Opatowski

During a speech at the World Bank, he said organised criminal gangs now dominate the trade, and urged private sector companies to crack down on the transportation of illicit goods.

He said he would create a taskforce to stop the transport industry from being unwittingly sucked into the illegal trade in wildlife.

"Private sector actors are often ignorant of the role they play in the trade chain. If we are to crack down on wildlife crime, this trade must be stifled."

Prince William said Air New Zealand's recent move to ban shark fins as cargo could be emulated elsewhere in the industry.

"Air New Zealand recently set an important precedent on the transport of wildlife parts by banning the carriage of all shark fins on its planes, whether not it was legally obtained. It does demonstrate the powerful role that private sector can play in interrupting the supply chain, if they choose to do so."

Prince William said organised gangs make $20 billion a year from the wildlife trade.

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