The practice of consuming bear bile is extremely popular across Asia. It is believed that the bear’s bile fluid contains medicinal properties that can do everything from cure a hangover to improve dental hygiene and treat about every other ailment in between. Despite the fact that there is little proof that taking bear bile is any more effective than popping a Tylenol, and there are many synthetic alternatives to the product, people continue to pay for this “remedy,” largely at the costs of the bears themselves.

Sun bears and Moon bears are the primary targets of the bile industry. Typically, these bears are captured from the wild at a young age and sold into life on a bile farm. Bear bile farms are unbelievably cruel operations where bears are locked into tiny “crush” cages and tortured with sharp objects to drain the bile from inside of their gallbladders, over and over again. Some of the poor animals have permanent seeping wounds, with bags attached to catch the fluid.

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Animal lovers worldwide have worked tirelessly for years to end this horrific practice and now we have exciting news to share in the fight to end bear bile farming! The Vietnamese government has agreed to a plan with Animals Asia, a rescue group at the forefront of ending the bear bile industry, to end bear bile farming in the country! 

Animals Asia and the Vietnam Administration of Forestry (VNFOREST) have outlined an agreement to work together to rescue the remaining bears who are still caged on farms across Vietnam. It’s estimated there are 1,000 bears still on farms.

This agreement is one that will finally “close the loophole that has allowed bile farms to continue despite the illegality of the trade,” Animals Asia reports.

 

Even though bear bile farming has been illegal in Vietnam since 1992 with the country lacking resources to build sanctuaries, households were allowed to keep the bears on the government’s behalf. The MOU states that the government will ensure no bears are kept in private households where illegal bile extraction can take place and the 1,000 bears currently held captive in Vietnam will be moved to sanctuaries.

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Sadly, a report by Animals Asia and Free The Bears was released in 2016 and found that wild populations across South East Asia had fallen dramatically to meet the demands of the bear bile industry. “This agreement shows Vietnam acknowledges that bear bile farming harms wild populations. By signing on, they’ve shown they are serious about conserving the country’s remaining wild bears and protecting the heritage of future generations,” said Tuan Bendixsen, Animals Asia’s Vietnam Director.

The bears need your help and the help of everyone you know to condemn this barbaric industry to the history books. So please, tell your friends, share this article and support Animals Asia’s work. Together we can end the cruelty for good. If you would like to assist Animals Asia in their efforts to stop this barbaric trade, please visit their website by clicking here.

Image source: Animals Asia

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