殘忍大象交易 國際組織揭露惡行

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暑假到了,不少民眾都會規劃出國旅遊,相對鄰近且物價較低的泰國,成為許多人度假的首選之地;不少人印象最深刻的泰國旅遊行程,就是「騎大象」,你可知道,看似溫和的大象,其實遭遇許多不人道的待遇。

根據BBC報導,國際瀕臨絕種野生動植物貿易調查委員會(TRAFFIC)日前發表的一份研究報告指出,有不少緬甸的大象遭到非法捕捉,之後再走私到泰國的觀光地區,而為了使大象變得溫馴以利運送,走私客會長期虐待鞭打,直得牠們變得溫馴為止。

由於觀光客特別喜愛年紀較小的年輕小象,這也讓小象的身價跟著水漲船高,一隻健康的小象可以賣到3.3萬美元(約新台幣98.7萬元),其餘經濟價值較低的老象,則會被被走私客殺掉。

防止大象遭非人道待遇的補救方式,除了泰國政府的嚴加查緝之外,根本之道還是回到觀光客本人,因為有需求、有利潤,才會讓走私客不斷非法捕捉大象。所以下次當你到泰國旅遊騎大象之前,先想想牠們所面臨的悲慘處境吧。

原文網址http://news.ltn.com.tw/news/world/breakingnews/1051576

相關國際新聞http://blueandgreentomorrow.com/2014/07/07/elephants-in-thailand-brutally-trained-for-the-tourism-industry-investigation-reveals/

Elephants in Thailand brutally trained for the tourism industry, investigation reveals

Monday, July 7th, 2014 By Ilaria Bertini

© TRAFFIC

Live wild elephants are being illegally captured and cruelly trained in Myanmar to be sold to the tourism industry in Thailand, a new report by wildlife trade organisation Traffic has discovered.

The animals are caught in the wild when they are young and then moved to Thailand, at which point they are “mentally broken and prepared for training”, the organisation said.

Once tamed, they are sold to resorts or tourist camps, to be exploited by the industry as a means of transport or to entertain travellers.

Despite measures by the Thai government to tackle the activity by tightening controls over elephants held in captivity back in February 2012, campaigners said the country has not made appropriate legislative changes to stop the trade, with penalties also being too low.

Joanna Cary-Elwes, campaigns manager at conservation organisation Elephant Family, which commissioned the report, said, “There are gaping holes in the current legislation, which do little to deter unscrupulous operators passing off wild-caught young animals as being of captive origin and falsifying birth and ownership documentation.

“Thailand’s legislation concerning ivory and the ownership of elephants is out-of-date and inadequate.”

She added, “The Asian Elephant is the forgotten elephant; it needs government support now more than ever. If the capture and smuggling of calves is not stopped, some of the last great wild populations of the species are at risk of extinction.”

Chris Shepherd, regional director for South-East Asia at Traffic, added, “Elephant populations are being depleted all over South-East Asia. By logging, being poached for their ivory and captured for trade – if you add up all these pressures, any off-take at all has a conservation impact.”

Elephants in Africa and Asia are seriously threatened by illegal poaching and the trafficking of ivory, with the population of Asian elephants thought to be of around 4,000-5,000 individuals in Myanmar.

Commenting on the report, Justin Francis, managing director of responsibletravel.com, told Blue & Green Tomorrow, “We have serious concerns around elephant trekking practices in regards to animal welfare, but also in regards to it creating a demand and market for the capture and use of wild elephants, which we find deplorable.

“Over the past month we have been consulting with our members and have been building an in-depth guide for our site visitors, which brings together all issues surrounding elephants in tourism, including visiting rescue centres and trekking experiences. We envisage we will be in a position to announce changes to our policy on what we will and will not promote regarding this at the beginning of next week.”

Photo: © TRAFFIC

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