TRAFFIC: Thailand’s ivory trade worrisome, continues despite ban


BANGKOK, July 2 — The banned ivory trade in Thailand continues to raise concerns as the number of ivory products and shops has soared in the past 18 months, despite the illegality of trafficking.

Wildlife trade monitoring network TRAFFIC reported that the number of products made from ivory in Bangkok soared by three times to over 14,000 items in the past 18 months and the amount of shops where products made from ivory were available rose by 105 shops.

TRAFFIC coordinator Naomi Doak said she believed most of the products were made from illegally acquired ivory because there are now only about 1,230 male elephants in Thailand and the country can only produce about 650 kilograms of ivory annually.

She blamed Thailand for failing to control its ivory markets, a practice which results in the continuous killing of elephants in Africa.

Ms Doak said statistics show that five elephants are killed every hour, so that the population of Thai elephants dropped by 2,500-3,000, and Asian elephants overall fell by over 70 per cent in the past three years.