Illegal wildlife trade totals billions of dollars a year globally, but conservationists say the problem is most acute in Southeast Asia. Despite international and local laws designed to crack down on the trade, live animals and animal parts -- often those of endangered or threatened species -- are sold in open-air markets throughout the region.
The majority of the illegal wildlife trade occurs in Bangkok. While Thailand is making some effort to combat the illegal trade of endangered species, they have the laws on the books that could easily be rectified to change this dire situation in Thailand.
- National Park, Wildlife and Plant Conservation Department
Director of Thai Wildlife Department
- TAT Tourist Information Centres in Thailand
Director of TAT Tourist Information Centres
- Office of Tourism Development, Ministry of Tourism and Sports
Minister of Tourism
I was made aware of the severe problem of the illegal wildlife trade that occurs in Bangkok’s weekend markets by watching CNN’s Planet in Peril. While I appreciate that you have a security force dedicated to preventing the illegal wildlife trade, the fact that you have a law on the books that prevents these security officials from arresting these perpetrators – and prevent further illegal wildlife trade – simply because they can not open a locked door (even if the endangered are species are visible) – I found this quite disturbing, sad, and frustrating.
You have a beautiful country, but I will not visit Thailand until this law is amended and the illegal wildlife trade is shut down and new laws are put into action to prevent this atrocity and crime against nature. Again, I appreciate your efforts and I realize that the number one cause of the illegal wildlife trade is selfish individuals that want to own endangered species, but your laws need to change.
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