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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Missouri Considers Bill Banning Animal Abuse Videos

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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (KMOX/AP) – The Missouri House has endorsed legislation seeking to make it a crime for undercover activists to produce videos portraying poor conditions at agricultural facilities.  

The legislation given first-round approval Tuesday would create the crime of “agriculture production facility interference.” The crime would apply to people who produce or distribute photos, videos or audio recordings of the activities at an agricultural facility without the consent of the owner.

The bill also would make it a crime for people to gain employment or access at agricultural facilities under false pretenses.

Supporters said the measure is needed to stop undercover activists who produce propaganda against agriculture, particularly where livestock are being raised or slaughtered.

Opponents of the bill said some of those undercover investigations have helped improve conditions at agricultural facilities.

News link:- CBS.St Louis

Three Memphis Animal Shelter employees charged with animal cruelty » The Commercial Appeal

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Following persistent claims about mistreatment of animals at the Memphis Animal Shelter, Mayor A C Wharton ordered Memphis Police Director Toney Armstrong to conduct an undercover operation at the facility.

For three months beginning in November, the officer, whose identity remains secret, pretended to be a shelter worker while watching employees to detect rumored illegal activities, such as starving or fighting dogs.

When the officer began assisting in the euthanasia room, he found what Wharton described as “wanton disregard for animals.”Archie Elliot IIIFrank Lightfoot, Jr.Billy Stewart

The undercover operation led to cruelty charges against three shelter employees, which were announced Thursday at a news conference held by Wharton, Armstrong and Shelby County Dist. Atty. Gen. Amy Weirich.

Billy D. Stewart, 28; Frank Lightfoot Jr., 59; and Archie Elliot III, 35, were indicted Tuesday and arrested early Thursday at their homes by Memphis police and Shelby County Sheriff’s deputies.

“I am saddened and disgusted that we are here once again,” Wharton said. “By this point, I hope people understand that we take these matters very seriously.”

Stewart and Lightfoot each face four counts of aggravated animal cruelty and Elliot faces two counts of aggravated animal cruelty. The charge is a Class E felony, which carries a punishment of one to six years in prison. All three employees are currently suspended with pay

via Three Memphis Animal Shelter employees charged with animal cruelty » The Commercial Appeal.

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