Vietnam Bear Sanctuary Saved From Eviction

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Animals Asia’s Vietnam bear rescue centre has been saved from the eviction threat that has been hanging over it since 5 October 2012.

A communiqué issued by the Vietnamese government confirms that Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung has concluded that the rescue centre’s operation should be maintained, and that construction on the project’s second phase should continue.

This decision ensures that the 104 bears living at the centre that have been rescued from the bile industry will stay, 77 local Vietnamese staff keep their jobs, and Animals Asia who fund and operate the centre will not suffer the financial losses of US $2 million as previously feared.

Animals Asia is a charity that is devoted to ending the barbaric practice of bear bile farming and improving the welfare of animals in China and Vietnam. The Vietnam Bear Rescue Centre, located in Tam Dao National Park, is dedicated solely to the rescue of previously farmed bears in Vietnam.

Tuan Bendixsen, Vietnam Director, Animals Asia commented:
“We are very grateful to the Prime Minister for his commitment to the bear rescue centre. We look forward to working with the government to end bear bile farming and help conserve the bear species..”

Jill Robinson MBE, Founder and CEO, Animals Asia commented:
“Our priority has been to rehabilitate these bears after their years of trauma from being locked up in small cages and milked for their bile. If we had been forced to relocate it would have had a terrible impact on their well being  We want to sincerely thank the tens of thousands of supporters from around the world who wrote letters, sent e-mails and signed petitions calling for the eviction to be stopped.” 

The rescue centre was established based on the Vietnam government’s 2005 agreement with Animals Asia to fund and develop a facility on 12 hectares of the park that would permanently rehabilitate and house 200 endangered bears rescued from the illegal bear bile industry. Based on this agreement, Animals Asia has invested more than US$2 million in building and infrastructure.

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Bear Bile Farming Industry Put On Notice By World Conservation Congress

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Since 2007 Born Free has been supporting the tremendous work being done by Animals Asia Foundation in China and Vietnam, addressing the practice of bear bile farming and other animal welfare issues throughout the region.

Last week, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) met in the Republic of Korea for its World Conservation Congress, one of the world’s most important conservation events and attended by leaders from government, non-governmental organisations, business, UN agencies and social organisations, passing a resolution addressing the issue of bear bile farming.

Across Asia, thousands of Asiatic black (or moon) bears and sun bears are held captive and milked regularly for their bile through crude catheters or permanently open holes in their abdomens.

Despite the availability of inexpensive herbal and synthetic alternatives, bear bile continues to be used in traditional Asian medicine to cure ailments ranging from headaches to haemorrhoids. Bears are confined in cages which vary from agonisingly tiny “crush” cages to larger pens, all of which cause terrible physical and mental suffering. Bears can spend more than 30 years under these conditions.

What has this to do with conservation? The practice of bear farming was conceived as a method the impact of the use of bear bile on wild populations– the rationale unfortunately applied was that keeping bears on farms and milking them regularly instead of killing wild bears for their gall bladders which contain the bile would reduce the motivation to poach wild bears. However there is no evidence that farming has aided bear conservation and conservationists are concerned that it may in fact be detrimental.

The World Conservation Congress resolution pushes for the closure of bear farms that are stocked with wild bears. Some farms in China apparently have self-perpetuating captive populations; nevertheless, it is not clear how the burgeoning bear farming industry, with new products and advertising, is affecting demand for wild bile.

Rows of bears, probably been stuck in these cages for 10+ years! These poor bears will endure pain, suffering & torture, daily for their bile; it’s disgusting that it’s still happening… especially when there are synthetic medications available.

This resolution calls for a thorough, independent analysis of how farming is affecting the market for wild bears: if this investigation uncovers negative, market-driven effects of bear farming on wild bears, it will likely prompt a push to end farming altogether. In preparation for the future, this resolution calls for no further increase in the farmed bear population, and heightened research and promotion of alternatives to bear bile as a medicine.

The resolution also encourages Korea and Vietnam to continue their efforts towards ending bear farming and calls for countries that practice bear farming to work with the IUCN to close down illegal bear farms (those that do not comply with regulations), issue no further licenses or permits for farms, prevent an increase in bear numbers on existing farms, ensure no wild-caught bears are added to farms, conduct research into bear bile substitutes, and to establish a monitoring system to track trends in wild bear populations.

Importantly, the resolution calls for a scientifically independent, peer-reviewed situation analysis into whether all these points have been followed – most notably, how bear farming affects the conservation of wild bears. A report will be made to the next World Conservation Congress in 2016, possibly prompting further action at that time.

Jill Robinson MBE, Founder & CEO of Animals Asia commented: “The bear bile industry has been put on notice by the international community that its effects on wild bear populations are now under scrutiny and we hope to see the monitoring process beginning soon. With the conservation aspect now being fully addressed in the public arena, we are determined to continue exposing the welfare reality for thousands of bears held captive for decades on farms, with their bile extracted through open wounds cut into their gall bladders. We look forward to the day this suffering ends.”

Read the full IUCN Resolution here

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Interesting Reading :-

 Bear Gallbladders to sell or not to sell:-

Interesting Reading:-

Interesting Reading:-

Very Interesting Reading:

The Bear Facts About Illegal Bear Bile in Vietnam.:-

“Moon Bear” Documentary Wins Award
“Moon Bear” the hard-hitting, undercover documentary showing the brutality of the bear bile industry across China, has just won a top award at the Fifth China Ya’an International Panda, Animals and Nature Film Week.
Held on August 20, 2012, the documentary was awarded audience favorite “Best Educational Value” film. 
The documentary was made by Elsa Xiong Jun Hui, Chen Yuan Zhong and Tu Qiao, three independent film-makers who devoted four years to its production, visiting small and large bear bile farms, revealing “legal” farms with conditions that are clearly breaking current regulations for such farms in China. 
The documentary was first launched at an Animals Asia press conference in February 2012, and received over one million views in the first twenty-four hours of its posting on-line.
Viewer discretion advised – But it’s not that bad!!

Published on 13 Sep 2012 by 

Watch the hard-hitting, undercover documentary showing the brutality of the bear bile industry across China, which recently won a top award at the Fifth China Ya’an International Panda, Animals and Nature Film Week. The documentary was made by three independent film-makers who devoted four years to its production, visiting small and large bear bile farms, revealing “legal” farms with conditions that are clearly breaking current regulations for such farms in China.

The documentary was first launched at an Animals Asia press conference in February 2012, and received over one million views in the first twenty-four hours of its posting online.

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Two Pennsylvania Couples Charged with Trafficking Bear Gallbladders

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The Pennsylvania Game Commission has reportedly charged Hung Quoc Pham, Van Thi Do, Bruce Dinh Le, and Tuyet “Amy” Le with illegally buying bear gallbladders and paws.

As Asian bear populations dwindle, wildlife traffickers are increasingly turning to North American bears for a supply of gallbladders, paws, and other parts. Photo: Steve Hillebrand/USFWS

During the course of an investigation spanning from November 2011 to July 2012, the suspects purchased bear gallbladders, bear paws, bear meat, and a porcupine from an undercover agent, according

Meetings and transactions took place at Nail Care in Marysville with Hung Quoc Pham and Van Thi Do (“Bill” and “Wendy”), and also at the Nail Touch Salon in Lemoyne with Bruce Dinh Le and Tuyet “Amy” Le.

The investigation was initiated by a tip alerting the Game Commission to suspicious wildlife-related activities at Nail Care.

Most bear populations in Asia have already been decimated by the use of bear bile in traditional Chinese medicine and the consumption of bear paws. Wildlife traffickers are increasingly turning to North American bears for a supply of gallbladders, paws and other parts.

It is important to note that there is absolutely no reason to use “ingredients” sourced from bears. The active ingredient in bear bile, ursodeoxycholic acid (UDCA), is available as a synthetic and there are at least 50 herbal alternatives to bear bile.

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1,000 doctors in China sign pledge against bear bile

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Raising awareness – reducing demand

Over a thousand doctors in China have signed a pledge not to prescribe bear bile to their patients. The doctors were attending the 8th Shanghai International Forum of Infection Control (SIFIC) which took place in Shandong province.

Animals Asia met with doctors at the event and provided information on the cruelty involved in the bear bile farming industry and the potential health risks of taking infected bile. We asked them to sign a pledge to no longer prescribe bear bile to patients.

Our pledge card states: 

“As a doctor, I care about the health of my patients and I sympathize with the situation of black bears. I will join Animals Asia’s “Healing without Harm” campaign, and will not prescribe bear bile products to my patients in the future.”

On learning about the cruelty to the bears and the condition of the extracted bile, the doctors expressed astonishment, having not realised the nature of the industry and the potential harm to consumers from bear bile products.

Many doctors and hospital directors are now keen to work closely with Animals Asia to present information on bear bile farming to their hospitals to spread the word to medical staff from all departments.

As part of our campaign to end the barbaric bear bile trade, we work on reducing demand – from both the public and industry-related organisations such as pharmacies and hospitals. Reducing demand for bear bile is a vital step in the campaign to end bear bile farming – bear bile products can easily be replaced by herbal or synthetic alternatives, which are cheaper, more readily available and just as effective. 

Toby Zhang, China External Affairs Director, Animals Asia commented: 

“The medical industry is devoted to helping people to be healthy, but prescribing bear bile is not only causing suffering to thousands of bears, it may also be harming the health of patients. It is greatly encouraging that doctors are signing this pledge not to prescribe bear bile in the future, and we hope this will help lead to the end of bear bile farming in China.”

Unbearable – Virginia McKenna OBE

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The stark truth about bear “farming” in China has touched the hearts of an unprecedented number of Chinese people. Thanks, perhaps, to the increased press exposure in China of the terrible truth about bear bile extraction.bear bile farm

As a European, my opinion may possibly be ignored by those responsible for this terrible trade and its place in Traditional Chinese Medicine  but surely they cannot ignore the views of the Chinese people themselves.

Although an “outsider”, I believe I represent countless people around the world who are disgusted and deeply shocked by the terrible and cruel treatment of the thousands of bears who are victims of the TCM market, imprisoned in cages for years on end, and subjected to the painful and invasive extraction of the bile (often from open and infected wounds).

I feel I am justified in speaking out as I have personally visited some of the “farms” in Vietnam. I have seen the cages, the grotesque suffering  of the bears. Witnessed the atrocious lives they endure. I have also seen the indifference of the “farm” owners. I shall never forget any of it. It is the stuff of nightmares.

I have also visited the Animals Asia Rescue Centres in Vietnam and in China. The tireless and courageous work of Jill Robinson and her team (supported by Born Free), is the beacon of light that shines out and brings hope to those beautiful moon bears. Those lucky enough to be saved and given the chance of a new life, arrive with manifold and terrible physical problems. And one would think that they would harbour deep and long-lasting grudges against all humans because of their previous treatment. But animals understand so much more than we ever give them credit for.  I am sure, beyond all doubt, that the rescued bears I saw knew that they were safe and loved.

I am very honoured to be the Animals Asia UK Patron and I add my voice to all the others who call for the end of the bear bile trade and the unspeakable suffering it causes. Let humans also be humane.

Virginia McKenna OBE

Founder Trustee The Born Free Foundation

UK Patron Animals Asia Foundation


via Unbearable.

Brother Bear-Bear Bile Farming – YouTube

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A video about the disgusting and cruel bear bile industry and the suffering these innocent creatures go through. Making a bear bile video with this song was just asking to be done. Song No way out by Phil Collins (from the film brother bear)

Footage: Moon Bears Journey to Freedom. Before its too late plight of the asian bear Various bear rescue videos on youtube Jackie Chan PSA on bear bile farming

This video is made to spread awareness about this inhumane practise, no copywrite infringement is intended and no profit is being made from this video

“This always makes me cry, why do we abuse animals for something that belongs to them; we have no right to take it from them. Tests prove, bear bile has nothing medicinal in it, in other words, they are suffering because of past generations misconceptions of bear bile”

via Brother Bear-Bear Bile Farming – YouTube.

Mistreatment Of Bear in Vietnam part (2/2) – YouTube

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Uploaded by  on 28 Feb 2009

“Around 30 bears die each year in Hanoi. To replace the dead animals, poachers scour the country’s few remaining forests to trap the animals and sell to ‘bear raisers’.”

– Hoang Ngoc Can (Director, Law Dept. Hanoi Forestry Service) An estimated 4000 bears are kept illegally in Vietnam‘s flourishing bear farms where they are “milked” for their bile, which is used in traditional medicines and tonics. The active ingredient in bear bile – ursodeoxycholic acid (UDCA) is believed to calm fever and inflammation, improve eyesight, keep the liver healthy and break down gallstones. Despite the current availability of synthetic alternatives, over the last three decades the demand for bear bile has continued to increase. The result has been the introduction of intensive farming of wild bears to supply growing consumer demand.

Two species of bear are found in Vietnam’s bile farms. The majority of the bears are Asiatic Black Bears; Sun Bears are also farmed for their bile in Vietnam.
Most of the farmed bears are believed to have been poached from Vietnam’s forests, or smuggled over the border from Laos. Once a bear is fully grown (at around three years old) the painful bile extraction begins. These adult bears, many of which have lost paws following capture in crude snares, are kept in tiny cages and are forced to undergo painful and dangerous extraction of their bile using a steel catheter that is embedded into its stomach. The cages are designed to be so small that the bears cannot move or turn – this makes the process of milking the bile much easier. Many of the bears have sores, wounds or scars on their bodies from rubbing against the cages.

A bear will stop producing bile between the ages of five to ten years old. They will then be left to die or they are slaughtered for their paws or gall bladders. In Asia, bear paws are still seen as a delicacy and can be found on restaurant menus for a few hundred dollars. Cubs too young to produce adequate quantities of bile may also be slaughtered for their whole gall bladders and paws.
The extracted bear bile – EJF

In the last few years bear bile has become commonplace on menus. Restaurants and cafes in major towns and cities serve bear bile wine, paws and meat. Newspapers openly advertise bear bile and customers are invited to attend bile extractions to verify the authenticity of the product. While demand for “authentic” bear bile remains high, both synthetic and herbal alternative products which contain the active constituent found in bear bile (UDCA) are cheap and readily available.

via Mistreatment Of Bear in Vietnam part (2/2) – YouTube.


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