Wildlife group calls for Thai ban on ivory trade

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Associated Press

Posted on February 26, 2013 at 10:02 PM

Updated Tuesday, Feb 26 at 11:03 PM

BANGKOK (AP) — An international conservation group is calling on Thailand to outlaw its domestic ivory trade as part of a campaign to tackle elephant poaching in Africa.

World Wildlife Fund regional representative Stuart Chapman presented a petition to Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra on Wednesday calling for the ban. It was signed by 500,000 people from around the world.

Although Thai law prohibits the sale of African tusks in the kingdom, ivory from domesticated elephants can be traded legally.

WWF says illegal African ivory is being laundered through Thai shops, thanks to the loophole.

Yingluck said Thailand recognized the importance of elephant conservation and will take the plea into consideration.

The campaign's supporters include Hollywood actor and WWF board member Leonardo DiCaprio.

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