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Thailand's Prime Minister vows to ban its ivory trade

Thailand is playing host to an international summit on the protection of endangered species and its prime minister has vowed to work towards banning her country's trade in ivory.

Last year, as many as 32,000 elephants were slaughtered worldwide for their tusks and 668 rhinos were poached for their horns in South Africa.

The biggest market for smuggled ivory is China, which is also facing increased calls for government-run market in ivory to end.

ITV News' Angus Walker reports.


Chinese official refuses to talk about ivory trade

At the start of a major conference in Bangkok on endangered species, the Thai Prime Minister vowed to ban the legal trade of ivory in her country.

More than half of the world's smuggled ivory is believed to end up in China and there are increased calls for its government-run legal trade to also end.

Angus Walker attempted to speak to the senior Chinese delegate about demands for a complete ban.

The worst elephant poaching incident in Kenya's history

In January, ITV News' Africa Correspondent Rohit Kachroo was the first UK broadcaster on the scene of Kenya's worst recorded ivory poaching in its history.

A family of 12 elephants at Tsavo National Park, one of the largest elephant sanctuaries in the world, were slaughtered and their tusks hacked off.

This report contains images of dead elephants:

Illegal ivory industry: UK central to the criminal trade

As Thailand bows to international pressure by vowing to bring an end to its legal internal ivory trade, here in the UK the criminal trade appears to be taking place right under the nose of the authorities.

Heathrow Airport is emerging as one of the fastest-growing transit points for ivory from Africa to the Far East. Our Special Correspondent Rageh Omaar has been investigating. You may find some of the images disturbing.


Prince William calls for end to 'shocking' ivory trade

The Duke of Cambridge has told an international conference that more needs to be done to stop the "shocking rise" in the levels of elephant and rhino poaching.

The increasing popularity of rhino horn medicines and ivory furniture in Asia is believed to be fuelling the increase.

Rhinos were killed for their horns in the reserve in Kenya where Prince William proposed to his wife Kate.

ITV News China correspondent Angus Walker sent this report from Thailand.

Celebrities join charity's call for world to say No to Ivory

The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust has sent over 44,000 signatures to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species as part of a campaign to encourage people around the world say NO to ivory.

The wildlife charity's online petition has also been backed by celebrities such as Joanna Lumley, Ricky Gervais.

Elephants are under threat from the ivory trade Credit: David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust

Dame Daphne Sheldrick founder of the DSWT said: "Elephants as a species are today facing very grave threats. The demand for ivory has escalated in the Far East, particularly in China where the populace is becoming more opulent".

The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust is calling for a complete ban in the trade of all ivory in any form
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