The Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation warned owners of ivory tusks and products made from ivory to report their holdings to the authorities within 90 days as required by the new ivory law. Nipon Chotibal, director-general of the department, said that the new law and the amended wildlife conservation and protection act strictly control the possession and trade in ivory and products made from it and now required owners to report their ivory possessions.
The deadline for reporting is April 21st and violators are liable to a fine of up to Bt3 million. In addition, traders of ivory and its products must be licensed by the directorgeneral; or be liable to a jail term of up to three years or a fine of up to Bt6 million. Ivory Importers and exporters must also seek approval and comply with regulations. Violators are liable to the same degrees of imprisonment and fines.
Laws and regulations have been amended defining African elephants as protected animals in order to block the trade in African ivory. The amendment requires ivory registration to include elephants’ DNA and microchip data to prevent foreign ivory from being disguised as domestic ivory. The improved controls on ivory incorporated recommendations of the Standing Committee of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). Thailand is required to respond by March; otherwise, its wildlife and wild plant trade worth at least Bt47 billion a year would be boycotted, Mr Nipon said.