Illustrative image (Source: nationmultimedia)
 
Bangkok (NNT/VNA) - Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has congratulated Thailand on being dropped from the list of eight countries with an illegal trade in elephant ivory.

The PM confirmed that the government will continue to protect elephants and urged people to alert the authorities if they see stray elephants in the countryside. 

The PM said Thailand’s removal from the CITES’ list is a notable success since the country used to be one of the world’s largest ivory markets. Most of the ivory was smuggled into the country from Africa before the Thai government cracked down on illegal ivory trade in 2014. 

Prayut also instructed relevant units to continue to combat the illegal ivory trade, saying Thailand’s removal from CITES’ list means that the country no longer runs the risk of being sanctioned. Trade sanctions would affect the country’s trade in more than 35,000 types of valuable plants and animals, he said. 

As for the problem of stray elephants, the PM said both wild and domestic elephants must be registered so that they are taken care of properly. The government now operates Hotline 1362 to receive calls regarding inappropriate use or abuse of elephants.-NNT/VNA