I am writing in response to comments expressed in recent letters to the South China Morning Post from Jason Baker of the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (Peta) in Asia and Kristen Myers concerning the alleged torturing of baby elephants as part of training methods employed in Thailand.
It is not my intention to make a rebuttal as our views on this matter have already been expressed in an earlier letter to the Post from our Consul-General. Peta's concern for the well-being of elephants in Thailand and worldwide is certainly shared by the Thai government and the Thai people. However, it is unfair to make sweeping generalisations that the alleged incidents are part of widespread practices in Thailand and to also suggest that Thai authorities condone such actions.
The Thai government does not approve of such practices and has been undertaking several measures to protect elephants in Thailand, ranging from the enactment of legislation as well as publicity and education campaigns to discourage maltreatment of elephants. While these steps may not be to the full satisfaction of Peta, our efforts are continuing in this direction.
Peta's call for a boycott of Thailand is not the right way to pursue its cause. If Peta is truly committed to its objectives, it should seek to work with us, through dialogue and co-operation, to protect and improve the welfare and well-being of elephants in Thailand and throughout the world.
Head of press section
Consulate-General of Thailand.