A Dallas group is suing Delta Air Lines in federal court over its ban on transporting big-game trophies. The plaintiffs allege that the ban "hurts conservation efforts and violates its [Delta's] global obligations." The group claims that "that the transport of the trophies is allowed under a strict systems of global permits and Delta must abide by its obligations." The Reuters articles does not address what these obligations are.
Depending on the terms of those permits, the suit may have some merit, but, since I am not an attorney nor did I stay in a Holiday Inn Express last night, I really could not say. The claims that Delta is harming conservation efforts seems dubious, however. Delta is an airline not a governmental body charged with monitoring and promoting conservation. As I wrote in August, I think the entire dust-up over big-game trophies and the subsequent ban on their transport by several U.S. airlines was a gross overreaction. That being said, absent details on the "obligations" cited by the lawsuit, Delta is a private business that can decide whether or not to transport certain categories of cargo. Furthermore, the hunting groups do not have an inalienable right to transport their trophies on a private air carrier. I would be surprised if we hear much more about this apparently frivolous lawsuit.