Department Director-Deneral Adul Chotinisakorn said the regulation, issued on April 10, had sparked concerns among wildlife conservationists who feared it could lead to commercial exploitation.
Mr Adul stressed that the regulation will only remain in use until a new bill is passed into law, but until then the exports of elephants and related products will also have to comply with conditions and requirements yet to be issued by the Department of the National Park, Wildlife and Plant Conservation (DNP).
“The only organisations allowed to export the elephants are state agencies, specifically the DNP, the Zoological Park Organization and the Forest Industry Organisation,” he said.
“A memorandum of agreement is required and the elephants must have been owned by these agencies for at least one year prior to the exports,” he added.
The department has also prepared a list of recommendations from concerned parties for the DNP for use in the drafting of conditions and requirements for the exports, he said.
Among them is that in cases where exports are for a research purpose, the project must be submitted with clear details and should not exceed five years. Thailand can ask for the return of the animals if terms are not honoured.
He said the DNP’s conditions and requirements are to make sure that the practice does not violate the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora.
He said the department has sought the opinion of various agencies including the veterinary faculties at Chulalongkorn University, Kasetsart University, and Mahidol University, the Fine Arts Department, and the Customs Department.
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