Add your voice to the FOUR PAWS Campaign to end Vietnam’s bear bile farming.
For sometime now we’ve been talking about the practice of bear bile farming in parts of Asia.
Just in case you’re new to the subject, bear bile is a substance extracted from different species of bears. It’s a digestive fluid produced by the liver and stored in the gallbladder and is a major component of many traditional Asian potions.
Bear bile has been used in many countries as a fundamental part of Asian medicine for thousands of years now, Vietnam included. And although there are synthetic options, practitioners and users insist on using the one extracted directly from the bears.
The practice of bear bile farming originated from China before spreading to other countries like Vietnam.
Why Is Bear Bile Farming An Important Issue?
You may wonder “why all the fuss about getting bear bile anyway?”
Well, users believe using it will treat several conditions such as liver disease, diabetes, heart disease, gall stones and so on.
Historically, bear bile was extracted after killing wild bears. But in the 1980s, authorities allowed legal bear bile farms so as to get a steady supply of bile without killing the bears first.
However, though this practice is outlawed in Vietnam and many other regions, it still persists. As a matter of fact, several of these farms still exist throughout Asia today making a tidy profit from selling on the black market.
Per gram, bear bile is now more expensive than cocaine and even gold!
As you can imagine, bears living in these bile farms are kept in unbelievably cramped metal cages. They live in some of the most unsanitary and heartbreaking conditions possible. In fact, the cages are so tiny that the bears can hardly turn around thereby earning them the name “crush cages.”
Also, the animals are left with gaping wounds, are dehydrated, often half-starved and will remain in these damaging conditions for up to 30 years.
In response to public outcry and continuous pressure from the international community to end bear bile farming, the Vietnamese government in 2005 officially launched its first efforts to phase out the act. Consequently, the number of existing bile farms has dropped by over 70 percent to date.
Meanwhile, over 1,000 bears still suffer daily in the remaining farms. We need to add our voice to free these creatures quickly, and you can help.
What You Can Do To Help
In response to this need, the global non-profit FOUR PAWS has created a microsite that asks visitors “How much can you bear?” The campaign asks you to take an endurance test that will measure how long you can watch the footage of these trapped bears in Vietnam. The video was created by Don’t Panic London and ultimately seeks to spur more people into action by signing a petition against Vietnamese bear bile farms.
The goal of FOUR PAWS is to make the Vietnamese government take more steps to end all bear bile farming by 2020 at the most. In the meantime, rescued bears will be transferred to appropriate sanctuaries.
Please take the test today and let’s get these bears out of the torture they have to endure every day.