Conservation group calls on Thailand to ban ivory trade
Thailand should use an international meeting in Bangkok aimed at saving threatened species to ban its ivory trade, a conservation group said Wednesday.
The World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) presented Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra with a petition signed by 500,000 people from 200 countries urging her to announce a ban at next month’s meeting of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora.
"We will consider the issue and how we can help," said Yingluck, who was scheduled to open the meeting Sunday.
Thailand’s ivory trade has been blamed for fuelling the smuggling of elephant tusks from Africa, which, the WWF said, claims about 30,000 pachyderms a year.
The WWF has urged members of the convention to impose sanctions on Thailand if its government does not take measures to stop the illegal trade in African ivory.
Although Thailand is signatory to the convention and abides by the treaty’s ban on trade in African ivory, Thai law allows the sale of ivory taken from domesticated Asian elephants registered in Thailand.
Conservationists charged that Thailand’s legal trade in elephant tusks provides an opening for African ivory illegally smuggled into the kingdom.//DPA