Chinese Torture of Bears Must Be Stopped!
Thousands of bears are being kept in torture chambers like the one shown above, to produce bile for the traditional Chinese medicine market. At this very moment thousands of bears are being kept in horrific conditions in hundreds of farms across China
The poor bears are being surgically mutilated, often by untrained workers with no veterinary skills, and “milked” each day for their gall bile.
Bears have to endure the most appalling levels of cruelty and neglect. Many bears are wounded and scarred due to the friction caused by being kept in tiny metal cages which were just about big enough for them to fit into and where they are unable to stand straight.
Cages are suspended above the ground, with bears having to suffer a constant stream of bile seeping from their stomachs, where an open wound allowed workers to insert a tube or piece of metal to “tap” the bile.
The bare facts: * 7,000 bears are in bile farms * Bears are almost extinct * 247 official bear bile farms in China
What YOU Can do! Ask your Member of Parliament to put sanctions on China until they shut down the Bear Bile practice . And write to: His Excellency Mr. Mei Ping e-mail (economic & business office)
‘Torture chamber’ agony of China’s bears
BBC | Wednesday, 5 April, 2000
A bear is caged and bile taken from its stomach
Thousands of bears are being kept in “torture chambers” to produce bile for the traditional Chinese medicine market, wildlife campaigners say. The London-based World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA) has published the results of a two-year undercover investigation into 12 bear bile farms in China.
The survey has been released to coincide with a major international conference on endangered species.
The trade in bile, which is used in many traditional ointments, as well as shampoo, wine and eye drops, will be debated at the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (Cites) when it meets in Nairobi between 10-20 April.
The WSPA is calling on bile farms to be closed down.
Its report documents how thousands of bears are kept in horrific conditions in hundreds of farms across China, producing approximately 7,000 kilos of bile every year. The society fears China is planning to register some of its bear bile farms with Cites.
Such a move would allow the Chinese to circumvent the existing international ban on trade in bear parts.
Cites was established in 1975 by the United Nations to regulate the trade in wildlife 150 countries signed the treaty, including China And WSPA say it would also hasten the demise of bears in the wild, with many taken each year to restock the farms and encourage the continued development of this “farming”.
Top officials from the Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions are to attend the Cites conference.
Jonathan Pearce, WSPA campaigns director said: “We’re calling on Cites to reject any attempts by China to legitimise its bear farms.
“The farming of bears for their bile should be brought to an end as soon as is feasible and Cites should make all efforts to maintain the ban on international trade in bear parts and derivatives.”
Bear bile bare facts
- WSPA say 7,000 bears are in bile farms
- 247 official bear bile farms in China
- Estimates of wild bear populations in China range between 20,000 and 60,000
WSPA investigators found that almost every farm they visited bought bears taken from the wild.
The charity said animals were surgically mutilated, often by untrained workers with no veterinary skills, and “milked” each day for their gall bile.
Bears had to endure the most appalling levels of cruelty and neglect.
Many were wounded and scarred due to the friction caused by being kept in tiny metal cages which were just about big enough for them to fit into and where they are unable to stand straight.
Cages were suspended above the ground, with bears having to suffer a constant stream of bile seeping from their stomachs, where an open wound allowed workers to insert a tube or piece of metal to “tap” the bile, the report states.
Bears face extinction
BBC | Tuesday, July 27, 1999
Wild bears: Found in 62 countries, but for how much longer?
By Toby Murcott of BBC Science
Poachers, pollution and forest devastation are threatening many wild bears with extinction, according to a report by the World Wide Fund for Nature.
There are wild bears living in 62 countries today, and all are under threat to some degree.
Only polar bears are still found across their original range – but even they could be harmed by pollutants in the Arctic and the melting of the pack ice due to global warming.
Polar bears: Under threat from global warming
In China, demand is high for bear bile – a product of the gall bladder used in traditional medicines.
And in Russia, home to the world’s biggest brown bear population, poachers are targeting bears for their hides and gall bladders.
Elizabeth Kemf, one of the report’s authors, says bears in the Americas are also under threat from traders for their body parts and for food.
In South America particularly, forests are being razed to make way for cattle ranches and drug crops, and bears are popular with hunters for their bile and meat.
In the Asian region, forest fires have killed many sun bears, while logging has further reduced their habitat.
The report adds that bears in India and Bangladesh are also unlikely to survive for more than a few decades.
But the worst situation is in Europe, where the last remaining bears – mostly living in Italy, Austria and France – are doomed to extinction unless drastic steps to save them are taken soon.