DiCaprio calls for ivory trade ban in Thailand

FILE - In this July 21, 2010 file photo, actor Leonardo DiCaprio poses for photographers during a news conference for "Inception" in Tokyo, Japan. (AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi, file)

February 19, 2013 7:10:56 AM PST
Hollywood actor Leonardo DiCaprio has called on the Thai government to ban all ivory trade in the country, as part of a global campaign to tackle the illegal wildlife crimes.

International conservation group World Wildlife Fund said in a statement Tuesday that DiCaprio sent a personal e-mail to his friends and supporters to encourage them to sign a petition addressing Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra over the wildlife trade.

In the e-mail, DiCaprio called on the Thai government to take the lead on elephant conservation by shutting down the ivory market.

Although Thai law prohibits sales of African tusks in the kingdom, ivory from domesticated elephants can be traded legally.

Activists say the loophole encourages massive quantities of African ivory to be illegally imported to Thailand each year.