African grey parrot in the wild - World Animal Protection - Wildlife. Not pets

Turkish Airlines gets on board to protect African grey parrots, thanks to 188,099 of you


Turkish Cargo (a Turkish Airlines subsidiary) has agreed to work with us to find solutions to stop African grey parrots being smuggled on its planes. This is a great step towards ending this cruel trade

Header image credit: Nature's Gifts Captured / Getty Images

During our first face-to-face meeting with the company, at its Istanbul headquarters on March 7, senior staff expressed concern about wildlife welfare, pointing to several existing policies around not shipping wildlife trophies and shark fin.

They agreed something must be done to protect animals, particularly African grey parrots, in the exotic pet trade.


An African grey parrot in captivity. He has plucked out his feathers due to stress

Thank you to all 188,099 people who signed our Turkish Airlines petition, which we launched on February 4. Together, we are truly powerful.

Our Turkish Airlines petition is now closed.

How will we work together?

Turkish Cargo agreed to collaborate with us to intercept the illegal smuggling of African grey parrots on-the-ground in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) in the coming months. This is where most African grey parrots are 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.

We hope this work will help protect other wildlife caught in the illegal exotic pet trade too.

The airline had already declared a global embargo on the transportation of African grey parrots on its planes in February as a result of our Wildlife. Not pets campaign.

This recent decision goes further.

Awful suffering

Illegally trafficked African grey parrots:

  • have their flight feathers brutally chopped off to prevent them from escaping
  • are crammed into small, dirty containers
  • have a mortality rate of 66%  before they even reach transport planes

African grey parrots crammed into a crate in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Credit: Lwiro Sanctuary

African grey parrots are very intelligent and sociable. They are not suited for a solitary life in a cage or home.

Many become so distressed and bored in captivity that they pull their feathers out.

Flying forward

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.

They agreed something must be done to protect animals, particularly African grey parrots, in the exotic pet trade.

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