Connect with us

Environment

Rising tide of concern over lifting ban on elephant exports

Published

 on 

by Pratch Rujivanarom

Animal rights activists, along with a strong voice of disapproval on social media, are complaining about the Commerce Ministry’s plan to legalise the export of live domesticated elephants.

Somsak Soonthornnawaphat, head of Thai operations for the organisation World Animal Protection, strongly disapproves of the plan, citing the likelihood of the elephants suffering distress and even agony on lengthy trips overseas. He noted, too, that lifting the ban on elephant exports could add further incentive for the illegal capture of wild elephants.

The Thailand Animal Rights Alliance has, meanwhile, launched a petition on change.org urging that the idea be abandoned. As of publication time, 3,000 signatures had been collected.

The ministry regulation announced last month withdraws a 2009 ban on the export of live elephants and elephant-related products such as ivory. Somsak pointed out that it does not violate the terms of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).

“Domesticated elephants already registered with the authorities are allowed to be exported under the regulation, for diplomatic and research purposes only, and isn’t violating CITES,” he said.

But he pointed out that elephants are not built for long-distance transportation and are highly likely to suffer stress and become sick en route. Once at their destination, they will struggle to adjust to a new setting, compounding the stress.

“There is also no guarantee our elephants will be well treated. There have been cases where Thai elephants have been handled harshly to train them to entertain people at zoos.

“The elephant is our national animal and we need to protect it. We insist that elephants be protected from any harm and be able to live in a good environment.”

Edwin Wiek, another prominent animal-rights activist, shares Somsak’s concern over the risk of the elephants being maltreated at their destinations. He recalled a major controversy about a decade ago when it was reported that nine Thai elephants had been shabbily treated at Australian zoos.

“The final decision on exporting domesticated elephants and body parts including ivory lies with the CITES office in Thailand under the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment. So, for now actually, nothing has really changed.”

Regardless of whether the export ban is lifted or not, Wiek said, safety and welfare standards for domesticated elephants in Thailand remain a major concern, especially among those in elephant camps that suffer maltreatment by their owners.

SOURCE: The Nation

 

Get more from The Thaiger

Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.

Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.

Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.

The Thaiger is Thailand's largest online portal for news, videos and information.

Follow Thaiger by email:

What you get for $X1 hour ago

What $100,000 buys you for a condo in Bangkok, Phuket, Pattaya, Koh Samui and Hua Hin

Thailand3 hours ago

Thailand News Today | Activists plan protests all across Thailand

Thailand3 hours ago

Snitching on parking space hoggers could earn you 5,000 baht in Thailand

Sponsored11 hours ago

10 Best Seed Banks that Ship Cannabis Seeds Discreetly to You (Free US Shipping)

Weather3 hours ago

Storm Noru weakens from typhoon to depression as it moves across Thailand

World4 hours ago

Suicide bombing in Afghanistan hits students preparing for exam

Politics5 hours ago

BREAKING: Prayut reinstated as Prime Minister of Thailand

Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
Technology5 hours ago

What role for Thailand in China’s great European EV invasion?

Cambodia5 hours ago

Cambodian delegation in UK to seach for stolen treasures

Thailand5 hours ago

20 baht notes printed with errors, says Bank of Thailand

Crime6 hours ago

Loan shark bombs debtor’s house in southern Thailand

Thailand6 hours ago

Thai researchers develop flood-resistant rice strain

Press Room7 hours ago

Southeast Asia’s hospitality leaders step into the ring to fight for sustainability at PHIST 5

Crime7 hours ago

Horrified relatives attempt ID of disfigured suitcase victim

Travel7 hours ago

Things to do in Bangkok that cost next to nothing (2022)

Travel7 hours ago

5 best spa treatments in Bangkok to pamper yourself this September – October

Thailand1 year ago

Morning Top Stories Thailand | Police to end protests, Human Trafficking | September 14

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Tourism2 years ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Phuket2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Tourism2 years ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

Tourism2 years ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11

Trending