Elephant keepers to go ahead marching their animals to protest in Bangkok

Elephant keepers vowed to go ahead with their plan to march their animals to Bangkok to pressure the government to meet their demands.

The threat followed failure by local authorities in Ayutthaya province to convince elephant owners and keepers to stop the plan  after a negotiation to meet their 3-point demand failed.

The owners and keepers want the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation to release all the elephants they impounded, to ensure clear individual identification of elephants and to renew DNA tests done in 2016 and 2017 as tests by the department and it’s “Phaya Sua” task force remained skeptical.

Yesterday the department, and the Ministry of Interior agreed only to delay the impounding of elephants and asked the keepers to give up their plan to march in the capital.

But this was rejected.

Earlier in September last year the military junta issued an order under Section 44 of the interim constitution mandating all owners of their domesticated elephants to register for DNA checks to verify their identities and origins.

Their elephants would then be certified along with the animals’ identification documents.

More than 3,440 domesticated elephants – or almost 99 percent of the animals’ total documented population – have registered for checks..

The move is a renewed effort to recheck the country’s elephant population.

Under the order, they must finish the work by March.

This is the government ‘s attempt to close a loophole involving the illegal smuggling of wild elephants and those incorrectly registered as domesticated elephants. The problem is rampant and severely affects the country’s wildlife conservation efforts.