Ethiopian Airlines has debunked allegations of illegal wildlife transport by some activists saying it takes maximum care in air transport of live animals.
The Airline, in a statement issued and copied to the Ghana News Agency, said: "As an International Air Transport Association (IATA) member carrier, Ethiopian Airlines takes maximum care in air transport of live animals and strictly follows all national, regional, and international regulations on the transport of live animals."
This is in line with IATA and ICAO procedures besides various governmental regulatory procedures.
The wildlife transport is carefully managed by various regulatory authorities both within the exporting and importing countries as well as by international authorities such as CITES, an international United Nations treaty comprised of 178 countries.
The statement said the transport of all wildlife was conducted in full compliance with IATA live animal regulations for all species.
"Ethiopian Airlines has several live animals transit rooms at its hub at Addis Ababa Bole International Airport, which are climate controlled," it added.
The statement said Ethiopian Airlines actively monitors compliance and has refused shipments that were found not in compliance.
It said the Airline had procedures in place to exercise due diligence to the best of its ability when scheduling consignments for shipments, ensuring that shippers presented in advance a copy of all required licenses and permits, including CITES (if required) as well as any import permits, and health documentation.
"We utilise the IATA live animal checklist to ensure each step of the process is in compliance," the statement said.
It said Ethiopian Airlines had contributed to conservation by assisting in the transport of endangered species between rescue centres or from conservation breeding sites, quite often at no cost as its contribution to conservation efforts.
The Airline said any organization that opposed legal trade of wildlife should direct their efforts to the countries that had authorised the trade within their respective laws and policies.