Friday, May 08, 2009

Ministry orders halt to elephant exports


April 24, 2009
Elephant exports will be suspended for at least five years until a new registration process for the captive beasts is complete, says the Natural Resources and Environment Ministry.

Better records on elephants born on farms are needed, including new ID cards, Natural Resources and Environment Minister Suwit Khunkitti said yesterday.

"We decided not to export any more elephants until we have a better system to prove that the beasts we send overseas are from farms, not from forests," Mr Suwit said.

"This can help protect them from poaching."

The process would take at least five years.

The Department of National Park, Wildlife and Plant Conservation has estimated that there are 3,000 elephants living in the wild and another 3,000 on farms.

Poachers take elephants from the wild and domesticate them so they can be traded legally at home or sent overseas.

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