Officials from the Department of National Parks, Wildlife, and Plant Conservation (DNP) today inspected illegal ivory retail outlets in Chatuchak Weekend Market.
The inspection was conducted in coopeation with officials from the Business Development Department, the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration, the Police and the Internal Security Operations Command.
Deputy Director General of the DNP Thanya Netithammakun said that they visited Chatuchak to follow up on the progress of the illegal ivory control after traders had been warned to legalized their business since 28th November 2014. The Accounting Act B.E. 2543 requires ivory traders to make official lists of ivories while the Wildlife Preservation and Protection Act B.E. 2535 prohibits trading of illegal ivory. Thais and foreigners are not allowed to take ivory out of Thailand.
Results of the inspection show that since the date of advice given to traders, four out of the seven outlets at the market have registered elephant tusks in their possession while the rest have decided to turn to other businesses.
Mr. Chainarong Chochai, Deputy Director-General of the Business Development Department, said Thai law allows for ivory from domesticated elephants to be sold legally in the country. However, such ivory is not allowed for export.
Statistics shows that currently there are 256 registered ivory traders while 72 others have gone out of the business. Apart from Chatuchak, officials will conduct similar inspections at Tha Prachan Market, Gaysorn Plaza, and other leading shopping malls in Bangkok.
According to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), Thailand is on the list of illegal ivory markets, and if the country fails to show any evidence of action against such trade by March 2015, it might face a suspension of trade in animals and plants under CITES list.