Asia

Anti-wildlife trafficking group lauds Thai ivory crackdown

A major conservation group has praised Thailand for a huge drop in sales of ivory items resulting from an official crackdown aimed at shedding the country's image as a center for the illicit trade in wildlife goods.

The wildlife trade monitoring network TRAFFIC announced this week at a meeting in South Africa of CITES, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, that it had found a 96 percent drop in ivory openly for sale in Bangkok's markets, from a high of 7,421 items in 2014 to 283 products this June.

Police Gen. Chalermkiat Srivorakan, head of the Ivory Operations Task Force, expressed gratitude Friday to organizations that have spread news of Thailand's achievement and vowed to keep up pressure on the illegal trade.