“Growing online wildlife trade will only pile further pressure on threatened non-native species that currently have no legal protection or regulation””Growing online wildlife trade will only pile further pressure on threatened non-native species that currently have no legal protection or regulation”
BANGKOK – Thailand has been listed as a country with the fastest growing online trade in wildlife and endangered species in Southeast Asia, according to a recently released report from wildlife trade monitoring network TRAFFIC.
In the report published on September 12, TRAFFIC said that an investigation during one month in 2016, 200 species were offered online for sale, including the critically endangered Helmeted Hornbill and 25 Siamese crocodiles. Removing just one of these animals from the wild could lead to the extinction of the species, it added.
The most common animal for sale is the slow loris which is illegally sold as a pet and a photo prop for tourists to Thailand. Some of the animals are native to Thailand, such as Asiatic black bear and Siamese crocodile, while others, including the Eurasian otter and black spotted turtle are not.
But all of these animals are prohibited from international trade and more than half of them are protected under Thailand’s Wild Animal Reservation and Protection Act, according to the monitoring network TRAFFIC.
Mr Tunya Netithammakul, director-general of the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation, admitted that online sale of wildlife can be easily done and difficult to stop.
However, he said most of the animals that were offered on sale on the social media (Facebook) were not native to Thailand and were not included in the protected list.
He added that the department was in the process of amending wildlife law to include animals which are not native to Thailand to come under legal protection.