Wild Aid Thailand wants ban on delicacy at official dinners after PM and allies tuck into fin soup
Noting that shark’s fin hasn’t been on the menu at state banquets even in China for seven years, wildlife conservationists have pressed the Thai government to ban the ingredient at official banquets here too.
The appeal on Wednesday (December 4) – Thai Environment Day – came after it was learned that Cabinet members and other politicians dined on shark-fin soup the day before at Bangkok’s Rajpruek Club.
Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, Deputy PM Prawit Wongsuwan, chief whip Wirat Rattanaset and Interior Minister Anupong Paojinda were among those at the dinner party, reportedly arranged to stem rumours of disunity in the coalition government.
The non-governmental organisation Wild Aid Thailand said the menu indicated that appeals to stop eating shark’s fin hadn’t reached top government officials.
It pointed out that the government of China, traditional home to the expensive delicacy, banned shark-fin soup at state banquets in 2012 to protect the fish, hunted solely for its dorsal fin and then tossed back into the sea once it’s hacked off.
Wild Aid Thailand called on the Thai government to do the same to set an example for the public. “Stopping the consumption of shark’s fin is equivalent to stopping the killing of sharks,” it said, underlining its “#ฉลองไม่ฉลาม” or #NoSharkFin campaign launched in July.
Sakanan Plathong, a marine biologist at Prince of Songkhla University, wrote on Facebook on Wednesday that he’d came to the sad conclusion that the Thai government doesn’t care about the environment.
He acknowledged that the officials attending Tuesday’s dinner might not have known what was being arranged for their meal, but at the same time the organisers were heedless of the anti-finning campaign because the policymakers hadn’t driven home the need for environmental sensitivity.
Nor has there been pressure on state agencies to set a good example in protecting the environment, Sakanan said. “You cannot say you don’t know or don’t have time,” he wrote. “When you signal that this government is environmentally conscientious, those at the operative level will know what to do.”
By Premyuda B Source: ThailandToday.co