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Prayut orders DNA samplings for all pet elephants

Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha has invoked Section 44 of the interim constitution to mandate the collection of DNA samples from all domesticated elephants in the country within 360 days.

Besides, he also required all these elephants must be marked to show their identities.

The latest attempt announced yesterday was to prevent and stop illegal wild elephant trade as the country could face trade sanctions under the Convention on the International Trade of Endangered Species (CITES) if it takes no measures to stop the smuggling of wild elephants and unlawfully turn them to domesticated elephants.

Under the order, owners of all registered pet elephants with identification certificates, or unregistered pet elephants must undergo official DNA sample collection of their pets and obtain DNA certification documents.

All pet elephants must also marked.

All the process must be finished within 360 days or by October next year.

In addition to mandating elephant owners, the prime minister also ordered the ministries of agriculture, of natural resources and environment, and of the interior to jointly work out a new legislation to practically preserve and protect Thai elephants within 90 days.

Failing to have their elephants undergoing DNA sample collection within 180 days after the date of the order issuance, or by December this year, the elephants will be declared a protected elephant and will become a state property.

It's owner is then required to hand over the protected elephant to the Department of National Parks, Wildlife, and Plants Conservation within 30 days after notification.

In case that elephant undergoing DNA test is proved to be not a domesticated elephant, it will be seized.

Owner must hand it to the department within 30 days as well.

Source: Thai Public Broadcasting Service (Thai PBS)