The Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plants Conservation Department is pondering pressing a new charge against Italian-Thai Development Plc boss Premchai Karnasuta for illegal possession of two pairs of African tusks.
An informed source from the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment said that forensic officials had examined the DNA of the ivory tusks and concluded that they were African tusks which cannot be legally possessed by any individual in accordance with the Wildlife Conservation and Protection Act which was amended in 2014 to include African elephants as protected species under the Thai law in order to prevent trafficking in African tusks.
The source noted that punishments under the amended wildlife law were heavier than those specified in the cruelty against animals law.
The charge of cruelty against animals which was initiated by the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plants Conservation was withdrawn after it was discovered the law does not cover wildlife like a black panther.
The department head, Mr Thanya Netithammakul, said Natural Resources and Environment Minister Surasak Kanchanarat would chair a meeting of the committee tasked with following the illegal hunting case to discuss the development of the case.
A press conference will be held after the meeting, he said.
Source: Thai Public Broadcasting Service (ThaiPBS)