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Thai ivory boom 'fuelling Africa elephant crisis'

Published on Jul 2, 2014 9:37 PM
 
This file picture taken on Aug 30, 2013, shows confiscated elephant tusks displayed during a press conference at the customs office in Bangkok. Thailand's "out of control" ivory market is driving Africa's elephant poaching crisis, conservationists warned on July 2, 2014, accusing the kingdom of backsliding on its pledges. -- PHOTO: AFP

BANGKOK (AFP) - Thailand's "out of control" ivory market is driving Africa's elephant poaching crisis, conservationists warned Wednesday, accusing the kingdom of backsliding on its pledges.

The number of ivory products on sale in Bangkok nearly trebled from 5,865 in January last year to 14,512 in May 2014, according to the wildlife group TRAFFIC.

The Southeast Asian nation, a known hub for the illegal trade in tusks from Africa, has come under pressure to ban the sale of ivory from domestic elephants.

This legal trade is blamed for easing the smuggling of ivory into Thailand from other countries, most of which is made into ornaments or taken to China and Vietnam where tusks are used in traditional medicine.

 
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