January 28, 2020
President and Chief Executive Officer
21 Aerial Place North East
Calgary, AB, Canada T2E 8X7
Dear Mr. Saretsky,
As one of the 13.7 million American hunters/conservationists, a Safari Club International member and a frequent traveler, I strongly oppose your decision to suspend the freight shipment of legally hunted animals. By succumbing to the pressure applied by anti-hunting organizations and allowing that faction to influence your decision concerning the shipment of legally hunted animals, you have demonstrated a lack of understanding of the vital role that hunting plays in wildlife conservation.
I, like every legitimate sport hunter, find poachers and the act of poaching abhorrent. The penalty for those who intentionally violate hunting laws and regulations cannot be minimized. However, the deeds of a few bad actors should not be used as an avenue to undermine legal and sustainable hunting practices. The solution to poaching is not to penalize the hunting community or to erase all the beneficial effects of hunting. Instead we must all look for effective ways to combat the acts of those who violate laws that regulate the take and transportation of wildlife.
By choosing to ban the shipment of legally hunted animals, you are paying greater attention to hyperbole than science. Although this act may have the short-term effect of mollifying an emotionally based public campaign, such responses are harmful to wildlife conservation efforts. I am truly disappointed that you have not paid greater attention to the scientific evidence that shows that hunting and importation of sport-hunted animals provide invaluable support for wildlife, habitat management and conservation, particularly anti-poaching efforts. Hunters and hunting remain among the strongest and most effective forces for wildlife conservation.
I strongly urge you to reverse your decision and help conserve wildlife for future generations. Until you do, I will avoid conducting business with WestJet and will encourage others to take a similar stance.