More than 400 Asiatic or “Moon” bears are being kept in cages in South Korea, using their parts in an unfounded method to treat COVID-19.

Bear bile has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for thousands of years. Since the 1980s, thousands of bears have been held captive in bear facilities in South Korea. Bear bile is a key ingredient in the Chinese folk remedy, Tan Re Qing, which has been endorsed by China’s National Health Commission to treat COVID-19.

Ursodeoxycholic acid, the active ingredient in bear bile, has been used to treat gallstones and liver disease, but it has no effectiveness against COVID-19. Although a synthetic substitute for ursodeoxycholic acid already exists, moon bear farming continues.

Source: NEWS Channel

Kim Su-jin, an activist at Korean Animal Welfare Association (KAWA), told VICE News that the moon bears are kept in poor conditions with tiny cages that are only three to six feet in size. In larger cages, up to ten bears are cramped into the space.

“Many bears lose their body parts or even die because they attack each other in those small cages,” said Kim. “And injured bears never get adequate care.”

Farms also sell slaughtered bear meat and advertised the false claim that eating bear meat can cure COVID-19.

Watch footage of these bear facilities from the BBC and sign this petition to ask the Chinese government to retract this recommendation and protect the bears!

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