While many nations have implemented stern rules and regulations regarding the illegal ivory trade, an international convention of conservation experts recently agreed that Thailand has fallen far behind. The experts claim that Thailand now contains the biggest unregulated black market for ivory in the entire world.

20,000 to 50,000 elephants are killed annually in connection with the illegal ivory trade, and eight nations represent. The International Union for Conservation of Nature is attempting to help put a halt to these killings by classifying the elephants as a vulnerable species.

In addition, the members of an international committee representing CITES, which was a treaty signed in 1973 to protect wildlife and prevent the exploitation of animals, have deemed Thailand and seven other countries, including China, The Philippines, and Kenya among others, as the “Gang of Eight”—a group of eight countries that have all supported the ivory trade by harboring suppliers, transporters, or consumers of illegal ivory.

So far, the committee states that every country in the “Gang of Eight” has complied with the sanctions except for Thailand, which could not show that it has implemented any new policies or procedures for curbing illegal trading. In fact, Thailand’s sheer number of items containing illegal ivory has tripled in recent months, and a large number of new locations have popped up around Bangkok selling these goods.

As a result, the committee will begin to monitor Thailand, and if the country continues to fall out of line with international regulations, it may face trade sanctions, which can be instituted by the Standing Committee of CITES.

Source: http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2014/07/140709-poaching-elephants-cites-ivory-trade-animals-science/

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