A snake farm has been operating in Uttaradit province without a licence, spreading fear among locals, according to the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation (DNP).
"Our investigation shows that the owner of the farm is in the process of seeking a licence," DNP director-general Nipon Chotibal said yesterday.
He spoke after the department looked into a complaint from locals, who were worried about pythons and boa constrictors being bred for commercial reasons in their home town.
Thailand has allowed the commercial breeding of 61 wild animals including pythons and boa constrictors since 2003.
"Before any snake farm is established, we have to check the origin of its stud animals to make sure that no wild animals are caught for the purpose," Nipon said.
He said the owner of the farm must also contact local authorities to get permission related to compliance with building and hygiene standards.
In regard to a report that a wild gaur was found dead in Prachuap Khiri Khan's Kui Buri National Park recently, Nipon said a team of veterinarians had conducted an autopsy on the animal.
"We are waiting for results from lab tests to determine if it died of hand, foot and mouth disease. We should get them within one week from now," he said.
With the latest death, the number of gaur that have died in Kui Buri National Park over the past few years has risen to 30. Hand, Foot and mouth disease was responsible for many of the deaths.
"We are spraying disinfectant in the area to try to prevent any outbreak of the disease," Nipon said.