Asiatic black bears, also known as “moon bears,” suffer terribly on Chinese “bear farms” where crude catheters are implanted into their gall bladder through a hole made in the abdominal wall. Bear farmers then drain the bile from the bears on a regular basis.
The bears are kept in small, cramped cages for years. Many times, a gate like structure will be placed in the cage to force the bear to lie on it's back so that it is easier for the bear farmer to drain the bile from it's gall bladder. Some bears have been found with this gate left on them on a permanent basis.

The bear bile is used in Traditional Chinese Medicines (TCM). Historically, bear bile was used in TCM in very small amounts as a supplement. But currently there are also more than 50 herbal medicines to treat the same ailments that are treated with bear bile, many of them to greater effect. Bear bile is legally sold only within China but most of it finds its way into black markets throughout Asia and Asian communities in the West. To make bear farming more profitable and to expand the consumer market, bear bile is also made into non-essential, non-TCM products such as toothpaste, wine, shampoo and power drinks.

Recently in Viet Nam, 3 moon bears were released from an illegal, unlicensed bear farm. This effort took three long years by the organization, Environment for Nature Vietnam (ENV). It all started when a concerned local resident in April 2008 reported a small, unlicensed “bear farm” in the northern province of Nam Dinh. This was reported on ENV’s WSPA-funded Wildlife Crime Hotline. The proper Vietnamese officials were alerted but they were hesitant to do anything about it because the "farmer" was a former, powerful official himself.

While campaigning over the three years to release these bears, the ENV persuaded a local radio station to stop illegally promoting the bear owner’s products. They were also able to remove a billboard promoting his bile that was located right outside the bear farm. Finally in May of this year, Vietnamese officials were able to convince the farmer to release the bears. The bears are now safe and will spend the rest of their lives free from cruelty in the Animals Asia Bear Sanctuary at Tam Dao. They are the lucky ones.

Currently in China where bear farming is legal, there are an estimated 10,000-12,000 bears that are imprisoned. In a poll taken in China, up to 80% of the Chinese people answered that they would do away with bear bile farming on the grounds of it's cruelty. Many Chinese doctors have also moved away from prescribing it due to safety and quality concerns. Let's us hope then that the time is to be soon in China to end this horrible practice and release all the suffering moon bears into freedom.

Responses to "3 lucky Moon Bears released from cruel bear bile farm in Viet Nam"

  1. gloria says:


Write a comment