Removal of Thailand from CITES Ivory Watch List

Thailand has been removed from the blacklist of countries involved in illegal ivory trade by a standing committee of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).

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Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha was pleased with the decision made recently by the standing committee, saying that it was a great success for the country.

In the past several years, Thailand had been branded as one of the world’s major markets for illegal ivory products, most of which came from wild elephants killed in Africa and smuggled into the country. The Thai government in 2014 implemented an action plan to end ivory trade in the country.

 It also amended two laws – the Wildlife Conservation and Protection Act, B.E. 2557 (2014) and the Elephant Tusks Act, B.E. 2558 (2015). The amendments tightened regulations and procedures for ivory product possession, ivory registration, and DNA testing process.

 The Prime Minister instructed relevant agencies to continue their efforts to suppress illegal ivory trade. The removal of Thailand from the CITES watch list has saved the country from the risk of trade sanction, which could have affected trade activities in over 35,000 species of plants and animals, worth 47 billion baht a year.

 Moreover, the success of Thailand in ending illegal ivory trade also helps save the lives of over 20,000 wild African elephants that are killed each year.

 Anyone witnessing elephants being tortured or misused should inform the authorities via the hotline 1362, which operates around the clock.

PRD