WWF – Thailand has launched a global petition for everybody to sign in an effort to ban ivory trading in Thailand and to curb the illegal killing of elephants in Africa. The petition will be forwarded to the current Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra. Actions were taken after witnessing an abundance amount of ivory being sold in the local markets fueling poachers to obtain more profit out of this illegal trading.
Regardless of the law stating selling African ivory is illegal, however, it is still legal to sell local ivory. Due to the loophole exists in the law, international criminal networks has joined in to exploit the law by providing supplies from Africa.
Janpai Ongsiriwittaya, campaign leader in WWF-Thailand, “The only solution for Thailand to contribute in the endeavour of curbing illegal killing of elephants is by banning all ivory trade. “At this current day, African elephants are facing decimation however, this may also be the same fate to the Thai elephants if this heinous trend of business does not stop. Ms Shinawatra can put this action to halt and I believe that we will be able to obtain the support of the citizens to save the iconic animal.”
According to the trade data, more than 10 000 elephants were being slaughtered every year for their ivory tusks. Last month however, was the highest number recorded ever. Due to Thailand’s unregulated ivory market, it has become a drive for poachers to participate in ivory in this illegal trading.
“Permitting the trade in ivory tusks in Thailand from the local elephants has been exploited and stretched to African elephant ivory making its way to the retail outlets in Thailand,” according to the 2012 reportof the Elephant Trade Information System.
Elisabeth McLellan, manager of WWF’s Global Species Programme said ” Tourists would be surprised to see ivories being sold in the form of trinkets are on display. It is also illegal for them to take it back to home country as it is prohibited thus is should no longer be on sale.”
176 representatives will be gathering in Bangkok to discuss on the rampant killings of elephants in Africa in March. WWF is calling the Thai president for the opportunity to announce banning on ivory trading.
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