Delta Cargo is the latest major carrier to sign the Buckingham Palace Declaration against the illicit trading of animals and join the Wildlife Transport Taskforce.

“Delta Cargo believes that global airlines play a significant role in disrupting the supply chain of illegal wildlife trade and we are committed to doing our part,” the carrier said.

The taskforce involves airlines, ports, shipping companies, freight organisations and logistics firms and is aimed at preventing wildlife and related products from being trafficked internationally.

By joining, Delta agreed to live up to 11 commitments around animal welfare and conservation, which it said included “adopting a zero-tolerance policy regarding illegal wildlife trade and increasing awareness of the nature, scale, and consequences of illegal wildlife trade”.

According to the taskforce, the illicit wildlife trade is valued between $5-20bn a year, making it the fourth most lucrative global crime after drugs, [trafficking in] humans and arms.

Among the carriers to have signed up are DHL Express, Emirates, Etihad, International Airlines Group and Qantas.