Thai prime minister announces end to ivory trade

Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra pledged to start a legislative process to end ivory trade in Thailand, seizing a key opportunity to stem global wildlife trafficking at the opening of the Convention on the International Trade in Endangered Species of Fauna and Flora (CITES) in Bangkok.

Her statement came after a petition calling on Thailand to ban its ivory trade was signed by nearly 1.5 million WWF, Leonardo DiCaprio and Avaaz supporters. Prime Minister Shinawatra said that Thailand would take steps to end ivory trade – the first time the Thai government has said this publicly.

“As a next step we will forward amending the national legislation with the goal of putting an end on ivory trade and to be in line with international norms,” Prime Minster Shinawatra said. “This will help protect all forms of elephants including Thailand’s wild and domestic elephants and those from Africa.”

The prime minister’s decision comes as WWF and TRAFFIC continue asking CITES governments to sanction countries fuelling the global illegal wildlife trade. Poaching has escalated to crisis levels in recent years, and is a major threat to iconic species such as elephants, rhinos and tigers.

Ending ivory trade in Thailand – currently the world’s largest unregulated ivory market – will go a long way in stemming a global poaching crisis that is leading to the slaughter of tens of thousands of elephants each year and fuelling a global criminal trade in animal parts.

Thailand, Nigeria and Democratic Republic of Congo have failed repeatedly to address their rampant domestic ivory markets despite CITES rules that outlaw the unregulated sale of ivory. Under treaty rules, CITES member states can recommend that parties stop trading with non-compliant countries in the 35,000 species covered under the convention, from timbers to crocodile skins.

Responses to "Thailand Announces End Of Ivory Trade"

  1. Anonymous says:

    This Is So Incredibly Awesome. A Great Start. Now We Need To Work On China!

  2. Anonymous says:

    Elephant ivory, fhino tusks, shark fins, gorilla hands -- all goes to China. How do we stop China from allowing the sale of it in their country?

  3. I am really impressed. Not only this but also the Taiwanese Legislative Yuan has been unanimous in passing legislation banning the trade of marine mammal products, including seal skins. Only products from traditional indigenous hunts are exempt from this ban.

    430 000 kg of seal oil were imported into the Taiwan between 2003 and 2009. This made Taiwan the fourth largest importer of seal oil in the world. We take this opportunity to thank the Taiwanese government for their compassion and for closing yet another market on what is undoubtedly a cruel, barbaric and savage industry. Taiwan joins ranks with the 27 nations of the European Union, the USA, Mexico, Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan... all of which have banned seal products based on the inherent cruelty involved.

    The significance of this legislation will undoubtedly have a massive impact on Namibia, a country defiant of international sentiment regarding globally accepted anti-cruelty laws. In 2012, the Namibian ombudsman Adv. John Walters declared that seals are not animals and are thus exempt from the country’s Animal Protection Act. It is therefore unfortunate that while the rest of the world celebrates the Taiwanese ban as a watershed moment against animal cruelty, we as an organisation find ourselves preparing for yet another year of international protests, demonstrations and consumer boycotts against Namibia for their annual culling of 80 000 Cape Fur seal pups still dependent on their mothers.

    Namibia is the only country on earth to slaughter unweaned seals. It is the only country in the southern hemisphere still involved in the practice of bludgeoning seals to death. This primitive behaviour is perceived by the developed world as savage and barbaric and has resulted in numerous travel agencies no longer promoting the country. Ethical Traveller, an organisation that uses the economic clout of tourism to protect human rights and the environment, has dropped Namibia from its list of ethical destinations based on the annual cull.

  4. Anonymous says:

    This is INCREDIBLE!!! We argree. now lets start working on CHINA, AFRICA etc etc etc!! Wooop!!

  5. Anonymous says:

    Thailand will tell you anything; action well that's a different matter. I know that, I live there!

  6. I wonder if Thailand's lack of awareness and lack of control over shark fins was brought up at CITES? Thailand is a big contributor to the sale of shark fin (still a small percentage of the problem in China), with-in the Chinese-Thai social group. Major retail food chains, Like Makro (Siam Makro Public Company Limited)still sell tones of shark fin!

  7. Anonymous says:

    This is proof that it takes numbers and persistence and a loud voice to stop the abuse of animals of all kinds! Praise the Lord, in Jesus name! We give thanks!

  8. Anonymous says:

    Now if they could ban the sex trade, that would be something!

  9. Unknown says:

    I am very concerned about the lack of awareness of Asian countries concerning animals, and in this case the animals as elephants, rhinos, sharks etc. ... I hope their conscience will open before it is too late to save these magnificent species.

  10. That is cool and all but to little to late for MOST SPECIES. Should have happened a very long time ago. And what makes you think they'll stop.

  11. Anonymous says:


  12. J says:

    Unfortunately the spin put on this by the WWF (World WIldlife Fraud... The biggest conservation con!) and repeated across the world in news stories, blogs etc is erroneous - of course WWF WOULD want to spin it as being a great victory but this is not what The PM Said. She only spoke of the "Illegal" Ivory trade not stopping the local domestic trade. It is the domestic trade that allows the illegal African imported ivory to be white-washed into the market. Investigative Journalist Bryan Christy published the page from the ITES CoP16 that provided the context for the PM's speech.
    "Bryan Christy ‏@BryanChristy 8 Mar
    Thai PM did NOT commit to end ALL ivory trade according to this #cites doc. Only ILLEGAL trade <-----look at the picture of the document, read the CoP16 document and you can see this was all a big self-congratulatory slap-up by WWF. Nothing changes, if nothing changes. For Elephants!

  13. Anonymous says:

    So all in all it is not good news . So the trade in ivory will continue . The slaughter will not stop untill there are no elephants or rhino left . What a cruel world we live in . So sad :(

  14. Anonymous says:

    focus on the solutions, those animals and mamals need our help, they dont have a voice only us humans have that, and if we dont speak up on whats wrong nothing will change, so we cant give up, education and compassionate action,can and will change things, remember to see and feel the issues but put your energy into solutions and not the problem!!

  15. Anonymous says:

    Sorry...I don't believe it. Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra is just "talking" for good PR. They can say anything. Thailand has so many political issues that they will not formally agree to in writing. I want a signed formal document in agreement with the US, England and France. Then, in time, we will see. I am very sceptical- for good reason. Thailand is a primary source for the black market, and it has always been big money for them.

  16. Anonymous says:

    Fabulous news. Congratulations!

  17. Anonymous says:

    Now lets work on treating the captive ones with some dignity , they are the symbol of the country Madam Prime Minister.

  18. Anonymous says:

    This is the same PM known for being her corrupt brothers crony and double talking every step of the way. They have vowed to end corruption, poverty and end human trafficking etc. ad nauseum for decades. Let's face it they have already eradicated drug distribution and addiction years ago. The fact that Yingluck is paying attention to DiCaprio's efforts on this issue is somewhat amusing though.

    This message is just mere lip service to placate people abroad who don't know any better. Thailand can't chew bubble gum and walk at the same time. Let's not let the fact that Thailand is ripe for a coup after the King dies.

    Hate to sound cynical but they have been making such disingenuous statements for many years.

  19. Anonymous says:

    Next up...China.

  20. Anonymous says:

    Please help stop the cruetly and abuse of all animals, this news are a great step towards a better mentality and a better world. We need to make our future generations aware of whats at stake if we continue this senseless abuse. Educate and turn this ingonarance into knowledge.
    Great progress people lets continue fighting for those that dont have a voice.

  21. Anonymous says:

    Way to go world...great progress in development. Still a long way to go to stop all forms to cruelty towards humans and animals

  22. anthony says:

    To be realistic and honest with you all. Nothing is going to change or happen. This a very old and traditional business in Thailand and China that is over 300 yrs old. These carvers are considered as master craftsmen and their knowledge is passed down from generation to generation. They are many times solely family run businesses with the majority being Thai of Chinese origin. They make a major political monetary contribution and are supported by various interests and political parties. So understand the prime ministress is not going to touch these people unless she wants to make more political enemies. She needs their money and their political support. This is not going anywhere. She did this speech for the conference and you were all fooled. Prove me wrong in a years time and I will post a pic with me holding a sign " I was wrong. Thailand has banned ivory carving and sales ! "

  23. Anonymous says:

    well done.

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