Network of Thai Non Governmental Organizations on Natural Resources and Environment on the raids and confiscations at the Tiger Temple
June 10th, 2016
Referring to the actions of the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plants (DNP) under the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment at the Tiger Temple from the 30th of May till the 4th of June, resulting in the confiscation and movement of 139 tigers and other protected wild animals that were kept against Thai laws, from the Tiger Temple in Sai Yok, Kanchanaburi Province to facilities of the government, we would like to make the following statement;
The Thai Non Governmental Organizations Network would like to express our appreciation for the way the DNP and other involved agencies have handled the situation, removed the wildlife in a professional way and further investigated and discovered evidence suggesting serious issues of wildlife possession and trafficking as been reported in the media. We are hereby request that the DNP and relevant authorities will press charges against the alleged wrongdoers to the full extent, showing that authorities are serious in tackling the illegal wildlife possession and trade in Thailand.
However, besides the appreciation mentioned above, the Network of Thai Non Governmental Organizations on Natural Resources and Environment would like to express some concerns about the following points;
1. For the tigers that have been moved from the temple to Khao Son and Khao Prathapchang wildlife breeding centers of the DNP we feel that long-term animal welfare standards and a limited financial budget are of great concern, possibly resulting in an insufficient care.
We therefor would see it favorable to have the DNP allow assistance from and cooperation with Non Governmental Organizations who are ready to help and have experience in caring for wildlife, this under the supervision and leadership of the Department of National Parks. For example an option would be to turn the Tiger Temples premises, after finishing legal procedures and repossession of the land, into an (big) cat education and conservation center as lots of expensive facilities have already been built there. An upgrade of facilities could be implemented to provide a facility up to International standard. Other option are also taken into account.
2. The discovery of evidence at the tiger temple suggesting illegal trade of wildlife and wildlife parts is that of crimes with profits comparable to the international trade in weapons and drugs. We hereby request to authorities and government to seriously investigate and tackle the international illegal trade in wildlife in Thailand.
- Adjusting legislation by increasing penalties in both civil and criminal law.
- Prioritizing the investigation on wrongdoing in the tiger temple case, setting this case as an example, besides the illegal trade allegations, also on money laundering and corruption.
- Showing International leadership in the Mekong region on tackling the illegal wildlife trade by exchanging information and intelligence with other parties and strict enforcement against organized wildlife crimes.
- Increase financial and logistic support of agencies investigating and enforcing wildlife laws.
- Speed up improved legislation and ministerial laws on zoo standards and animal registration, with the main aim of transparency and the possibility of easy check-ups.
Seub Nakhasatien Foundation www.seub.or.th
Wildlife Friends Foundation Thailand (WFFT) www.wfft.org
The Bird Conservation Society of Thailand (BCST) www.bcst.or.th
Love Wildlife Foundation www.lovewildlife.org
Save Elephant Foundation www.saveelephantfoundation.org
Thai Animal Guardians Association (ThaiAGA) www.thaiaga.org
Society Against Global Warming
Friends of the Asian Elephant Foundation (FAE) www.friendsoftheasianelephant.org
Thai Wetlands Foundation
A call for Animal Rights
Rak KhaoYai Club
Baimai Organization www.baimai.org
Wildlife Conservation Club Thailand
TonKhla Youth Club Nakorn Nayok
TonKhla Youth Club Lanna Bird Group
OK Nature Club www.oknation.net/blog/OKnatureclub
THAI VERSION CLICK