Navigation Links
Elephant-size loopholes sustain Thai ivory trade
Date:6/18/2009

Bangkok, Thailand Legal loopholes and insufficient law enforcement mean that Thailand continues to harbour the largest illegal ivory market in Asia, says a new report from the wildlife trade monitoring network TRAFFIC.

The report also raises concerns that legal provisions governing trade in domesticated elephants are providing cover for illegal trade in wild-caught, highly-endangered Asian elephants from both Thailand and neighbouring Myanmar.

TRAFFIC's survey documented over 26,000 worked ivory products for sale in local markets, with many more retail outlets dealing in ivory products than were observed during market surveys carried out in 2001.

Market surveys found 50 more retail outlets offering ivory items in Bangkok and Chiang Mai in 2008 than the previous year. However, overall there was less worked ivory openly on sale than in 2001.

"Thailand has consistently been identified as one of the world's top five countries most heavily implicated in the illicit ivory trade, but shows little sign of addressing outstanding issues," said Tom Milliken, of TRAFFIC, which oversees a global monitoring programme, the Elephant Trade Information System (ETIS), for the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).

"Thailand needs to reassess its policy for controlling its local ivory markets as currently it is not implementing international requirements to the ongoing detriment of both African and Asian Elephant populations," said Milliken.

"Since 2004, the Thai government has only reported two ivory seizure cases totaling 1.2 tonnes of raw ivory."

Thailand's capital, Bangkok, a major tourist destination, has emerged as the main hub for illegal ivory activities, accounting for over 70 percent of the retail outlets in Thailand offering ivory items for sale.

The report includes new information on ivory workshopseight in Uthai Thani, one each in Chai Nat and Payuha Kiri, and three in Bangkokbetween them employing dozens of carvers in the production of ivory jewelry, belt buckles and knife-handles. Much of the ivory being worked is illegally imported from Africa.

Some workshop owners boasted close ties with European knife makers, while others reported sending ivory, steel and silver items to the US for sale in gun shops.

"The Thai Government needs to crack down on this serious illegal activity and stop allowing people to abuse the law," said Dr Colman O'Criodain, WWF International's analyst on wildlife trade issues.

"A good first step would be to put in place a comprehensive registration system for all ivory in trade and for live elephants".

The study also uncovered reports of traders buying wild-caught elephant calves for use in Bangkok as "beggars" on the streets in major tourist centres, or selling them to elephant camps and entertainment parks.

Hundreds of live elephants are known to have been illegally imported from Myanmar in recent years, to be sold to elephant trekking companies catering to adventure tourism in Thailand. The capture of wild elephants has been banned in Thailand since the 1970s, but such trade usually goes undetected because domesticated elephants do not have to be registered legally until they are eight years of age.

The study also found that over a quarter of all live elephant exports from Thailand between 1980 and 2005 could have been illegal due to incomplete and inaccurate declarations made on the documentation required under CITES.

"There must be greater scrutiny of the live elephant trade if enforcement efforts are to have any impact at all," said Chris R. Shepherd, TRAFFIC Southeast Asia's Acting Director.

"Thailand and Myanmar should work together, and with urgency, to address cross-border trade problems," he added.


'/>"/>

Contact: Sarah Janicke
sjanicke@wwfint.org
41-223-649-250
World Wildlife Fund
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Hatchery fish may hurt efforts to sustain wild salmon runs
2. Grasslands: The future of sustainable agriculture
3. Going bananas for sustainable research -- scientists create fuel from African crop waste
4. K-State biologist collaborating with researchers in Africa on grassland sustainability, biodiversity
5. Organizational Change Management for Sustainability: The Harvard Case Study
6. Biofuels can provide viable, sustainable solution to reducing petroleum dependence
7. Symposium at UH will address how to put sustainability into practice
8. Biggest ever public investment in bioenergy to help provide clean, green and sustainable fuels
9. TXOTX, coordinated international project to contribute to sustainability of the marine resources
10. Abundance of ladybugs in olive orchards is an indicator of health and sustainability
11. New publishing partnership for Energy for Sustainable Development
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:4/15/2016)... , April 15, 2016  A new ... make more accurate underwriting decisions in a fraction ... timely, competitively priced and high-value life insurance policies ... screenings. With Force Diagnostics, rapid testing ... lifestyle data readings (blood pressure, weight, pulse, BMI, ...
(Date:4/14/2016)... Israel , April 14, 2016 ... Authentication and Malware Detection, today announced the appointment of ... assumed the new role. Goldwerger,s leadership appointment ... on the heels of the deployment of its platform ... BioCatch,s behavioral biometric technology, which discerns unique cognitive and ...
(Date:3/31/2016)... RATON, Florida , March 31, 2016 ... LEGX ) ("LegacyXChange" or the "Company") ... for potential users of its soon to be launched ... video ( https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCyTLBzmZogV1y2D6bDkBX5g ) will also provide ... the use of DNA technology to an industry that ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:5/26/2016)... ... May 26, 2016 , ... FireflySci has been manufacturing ... laboratories all over the globe. Their cute firefly logo has been spreading to ... FireflySci makes spectrophotometer calibration standards that never require recalibration. These revolutionary standards ...
(Date:5/25/2016)... Phoenix, AZ (PRWEB) , ... May 25, 2016 ... ... Arizona, Dr. Michael Fitzmaurice recently became double board-certified in surgery and surgery of ... 31, 2015. Dr. Fitzmaurice is no stranger to going above and beyond in ...
(Date:5/25/2016)... ... May 25, 2016 , ... Lady had been battling ... her cruciate ligament in her left knee. Lady’s owner Hannah sought the help of ... board-certified veterinary surgeon, to repair her cruciate ligament and help with the pain of ...
(Date:5/24/2016)... , ... May 24, 2016 , ... Last week, Callan ... corporate executives and entrepreneurs, held The Future of San Diego Life Science event at ... Diego life science community attended the event with speakers Dr. Rich Heyman, former CEO ...
Breaking Biology Technology: