Last year, WWF delivered a global petition with nearly 1.6 million signatures to the Thai government urging leaders to shut down the ivory market. But despite a public commitment to action, little progress has been made.
A 75-year-old law permits the legal trade of ivory from domesticated Asian elephants in Thailand, often from the ivory left after captive elephants’ tusks are trimmed. But with no registration system in place, the government cannot trace the ivory. This makes it easier for ivory from illegal sources to enter the market place. The report shows the amount of ivory for sale in Thailand far exceeds the amount that could possibly come from domestic elephants. And since 2008, more than 13 tons of African elephant ivory have been seized in Thailand.
Tens of thousands of African elephants are slaughtered each year for their ivory to meet the heavy demand from Asia. Transnational organized criminal gangs are believed to be behind much of the trafficking.
TRAFFIC and WWF are working closely together to stop wildlife crime. We are applying the strength of our worldwide networks, our influence with partners and governments, and the passion of our supporters to end a crisis that is threatening to undo years of conservation progress.