Published January 15, 2013
BANGKOK – An international conservation group is calling on Thailand to ban trade in ivory to help stop an unprecedented rise in elephant poaching in Africa.
The World Wildlife Fund says "massive quantities" of African ivory are being imported illegally into Thailand, where they are sold as trinkets.
Although it is against the law to sell African tusks in Thailand, the local trade in ivory from domesticated elephants is legal.
The World Wildlife Fund says criminal networks are flooding Thai shops with both kinds.
It says elephants across Africa are being slaughtered in the tens of thousands by poachers amid rising demand in Asia, particularly China.
On Tuesday, the World Wildlife Fund launched a global petition to urge Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra to ban all trade in ivory in Thailand.