Thailand destroys two tons of illegal ivory (dpa German Press Agency)

Bangkok (dpa) – Thailand destroyed 2.15 tons of confiscated elephant
ivory on Wednesday, in a ceremony presided over by the prime
minister.

The contraband was estimated to be worth about 2.8 million dollars,
officials said.

“Elephants are our national symbol and are under threat from poaching
and trade,” Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha said.

He called for the country to “clean up its act” on the illegal
wildlife trade, and promised heavy punishment for those who violate
the law.

“I will no longer tolerate corruption and ignorance on this matter.”

John Scanlon, secretary general of the Convention on International
Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), praised
the “clear progress” made by the Thai government.

“It is now critical that this greatly enhanced effort is sustained,”
he said.

CITES had threatened in March to impose an international wildlife
trade ban on Thailand if it failed to crack down on illegal ivory.