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updated: 2/19/2013 8:14 AM

DiCaprio calls for ivory trade ban in Thailand

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Associated Press

BANGKOK -- 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 email to his friends and supporters to encourage them to sign a petition addressing Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra over the wildlife trade.

In the email, 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.

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