11 July 2024

Substantial budget cuts, especially for animal feed, has raised serious concern that many animals in breeding stations, operated by the Wildlife Conservation Office, will be left to starve, said President of conservationist Seub Nakhasathien Foundation Sasin Chalermlarp.

Although the budget for the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation, for the 2023 fiscal year, has not been cut substantially, the budget for the Wildlife Conservation Office has been reduced to 241 million baht this year, compared to more than 700 million baht three years ago.

Sasin claimed that food shortages at some breeding stations have reached a critical level, adding that “there is barely any money to buy food for tigers, hundreds of monkeys and deer in breeding stations.”

He noted that the budget to buy food for animals at breeding stations has been slashed by about 60%, adding that the investment budget for the Wildlife Conservation Office, such as money to buy materials to build fences, has also been cut drastically.

He revealed the budgets for the department’s 23 breeding stations since 2019:

  • 29.9 million baht in 2019
  • 17.8 million baht in 2020
  • 16.2 million baht in 2021
  • 10.6 million baht in 2022 (an average of about 300,000 – 400,000 baht per station)

In the long run, he said that an average annual budget of about 30 million baht is needed to keep the animals fed.