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Thailand’s status up on prevention of illegal ivory trade

Sep 28. 2016
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By The Nation

Thailand’s status on illegal ivory trade has been moved from “Primary Concern” to “Secondary Concern” by the international Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) thanks to the Kingdom’s continued efforts on
Natural Resources and Environment Minister Surasak Kanchanarat has taken senior officials from the National Parks Department to attend CITES COP17 in South Africa from September 23 to October 5 to defend the country’s action in relation to primary issues of concern, include illegal ivory trade. 
At the meeting yesterday, CITES decided to move Thailand’s status to a secondary one due to its continued efforts to suppress the trade, the senior officials said. 
Last year, Thailand promulgated the ivory trade law for the first time and banned the possession and trade of ivory from African elephants. Ivory derived from domesticated elephants in the country must be registered with officials. 
Thailand is one of the key spots where trade in ivory was rampant, especially in ivory imported from Africa where elephants are killed in a cruel manner for their ivory. 
Those violating the law face up to three years in jail and fines of up to Bt6 million. 
Pol General Chalermkiat Sriworakhan, responsible for wildlife crime suppression, praised continued efforts and cooperation among concerned agencies. He expects Thailand to eventually be removed from the CITES watchlist. 

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