By Larry Banks
SURIN: — Ivory owners and merchants in Surin province yesterday flocked to have their products registered following the passing of the new law on ivory trade, and tough enforcement of the law by authorities who are getting serious in the attempts to stem illegal ivory trade in the country.
The rush turned the atmosphere at the Elephant Study Center located in Krapho sub-district located in Thatoom district of Surin province to be crowded with bustle as tycoons, merchants, businessmen and other individuals involved in the ivory trade gathered to have their goods legally registered for ownership.
The registration process was held at the offices of the Wildlife Conservation Division of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment in accordance with the newly passed 2013 Ivory Act that states that individuals are only permitted to own no more than four pieces of either ivory tusks or items made from ivory.
Furthermore, no two items in their ownership can be identical which might indicate a commercial intent.
For individuals who currently own items made from ivory, they are require to present documentation as well as witnesses to show that the goods were acquired legally.
Authorities are urging all owners of ivory goods to declare and register their assets with them before the April 21 deadline.
Failure to do so will result in their assets being seized as well as suffering legal consequences.