Sustainable cargo

The Qantas Group is committed to supporting Australian and global efforts to conserve and protect wildlife. 

We believe compliance with global agreements and frameworks is the best way of securing meaningful action to prevent illegal trade in wildlife and safe transportation of animals where necessary. In this context, the Qantas Group strongly supports the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) as the primary and most effective means of preventing the illegal wildlife trade.

Australian Government requirements

Australia is a party to CITES and the Australian Government has adopted stricter trade controls for a number of species that go beyond CITES requirements. These additional controls affect both Australian native and imported species.

They include restrictions in the trade of African lion and all species of elephants, cetaceans (dolphins, whales and porpoises) and rhinoceros. These species cannot be imported to Australia except under limited circumstances, including for conservation breeding or research purposes, or if the specimen has been proven to pre-date the listing of the species on CITES. 

The Qantas Group is a signatory to the United for Wildlife Buckingham Palace Declaration, which compels signatories to abide by 11 commitments that hope to raise standards across the transportation industry to help prevent illegal wildlife trafficking.

The commitments focus on information sharing, staff training, technological improvements, and resource sharing across companies and organisations worldwide. As Australia’s national carrier Qantas is pleased to support this landmark agreement.

Qantas Group policy and proceedures

The Qantas Group places strict limitations on the carriage of wildlife in accordance with Australian Government law and CITES requirements*. We also take great care in transporting animals and wildlife through strictly following the IATA (International Air Transport Association) Live Animal Regulations – the global standard to transporting animals in a safe and humane manner.

The Qantas Group recognises that international standards and government regulations do not always meet or keep pace with societal expectations. In these circumstances Qantas takes an objective, risk-based approach to decision making on a case-by-case basis.

The Qantas Group operates a broad network of flights around the world to countries that are lucky enough to be home to some of the world’s most unique and endangered species.  So we want to help play our part in preserving these threatened animals for generations to come.

Important information

* CITES places protected species into three main groups: 

  • Appendix I includes species that are already threatened with extinction. Trade in specimens of these species is permitted only in exceptional circumstances and there is no commercial trade in wild caught specimens. Where noncommercial trade is allowed shippers require an import and export permit. 
  • Appendix II includes species not yet necessarily threatened with extinction, but for which trade must be strictly controlled. Shippers require an export permit and Qantas requires shippers to obtain an Australian Government import permit for a booking to be placed.
  • Appendix III contains species that are protected in at least one country, which has asked other CITES Parties for assistance in controlling the trade. Shippers need a certificate of origin or export permit.