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In addition to bear bile farming and bear baiting, bear dancing is another equally harmful practice in some regions in Asia.

A cub in a cage: bear dancing

A Bear Cub In A Cage.

Bear dancing is a practice in which wild bears are captured, rendered defenseless and forced to perform for crowds against their will. What seems like a harmless show to outside observers is actually an extremely cruel exercise.

It was a custom in countries like India, Greece, Turkey, and Pakistan but today only bear owners in Pakistan and India still practice it.

Though the bear might appear to enjoy the experience, the training and indoctrination the animal

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Add your voice to the FOUR PAWS Campaign to end Vietnam’s bear bile farming.

Four Paws Campaign: Bear Bile Farming In Vietnam

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.

 

References:

https://help.four-paws.org/en/save-saddest-bears-end-bear-farming-vietnam

Photo Credit:

www.depositphotos.com

Bear Sanctuaries are a source of hope and succor for many of the world’s abused bears.

Brown Bear Behind Steel Bars: Bear Sanctuaries

Brown Bear Behind Steel Bars. It’s Inhumane To Keep These Animals Caged For Years In Such Unnatural Conditions. Bear Sanctuaries Help To Rescue And Rehabilitate Many Such Abused Animals.

Despite the combined efforts of several authorities, bears continue to face persecution and abuse from humans all over the world.

And, it doesn’t matter what species they are: Brown bears, or the Asiatic black bears to even the smallest in the bear family, the Sun bear, it’s obvious no bear is safe. However, it’s good to know that there are several establishments worldwide committed to providing hope and peace for

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Despite several efforts to stop it, the Asian market for bear parts continues to thrive.

Bear Bile In 250ml Bottle : Asian Market For Bear Parts

Bear Bile In 250 ml Bottle For Sale In Myanmar (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)

Asia is home to a vast majority of bears. Varieties range from the well-known Giant Panda, to the Brown bears, the Asiatic black bears (commonly known as the moon bear), to the smallest in the bear family: the the Sun bear. And as any animal lover out there knows, there are ways in which we can interact with these animals without hurting them.

However, this is not the case in many parts of Asia where bears are captured and kept as pets and much worse.

Interestingly, bears typically have no natural predators except humans. And humans have been killing them in their thousands since ancient times. But other than in self-defense, why would

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The Asian Black Bear is one of the most sought-after bear by poachers today.

Asian Black Bear

An Asian Black Bear: They Usually Stand On Their Hindlegs When They Feel Threatened. (Author: Guérin Nicolas cc by-s.a 3.0)

The Asian Black Bear is a medium to large-sized   mammal native to deciduous tropical forests in Asia.

This bear, also called the Asiatic black bear, has a strong and sturdy build with a large head and thick-set legs. Their legs allow them to stand for long periods of time so as to appear larger when they feel threatened.

You can easily identify them with their distinctive black fur (though sometimes brown or blonde).

There’s a distinctive whitish v-shaped marking on their chests and a band of longer fur around their necks. This longer fur almost looks like a mane and may be there to also make them look larger to potential predators.

Though this bear species has an extremely keen sense of smell, they suffer from poor eyesight and hearing.

These bears have adapted mostly to arboreal living (living in trees), and are closely related to the American Black Bear. However, unlike other black bears that are increasing in number, this particular bear is decreasing sharply in number.

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China’s Bear Bile Farming Industry may be winding down but the practice has spread to other neighboring countries.

Asiatic Black Bear: Bile Bear Farming

This Is “Elizabeth,” A Bile Bear That Was Later Rescued From A Farm In Vietnam. (Courtesy: The Asian Animal Protection Network/SlimVirgin cc 3.0)

When most of us think of bears, we imagine them as free wild creatures that roam undisturbed throughout the mountains.

However, this is far from the truth. The reality is that in parts of Asia, there are over 12,000 imprisoned Asiatic black bears and Sun bears on bear farms.

These bears are captives because of an increase in demand for bear bile. Over the past three decades, this trend led to the adoption of extracting bile from living bears.

These poor creatures are caged and milked daily. Bear bile farming was initially viewed as a positive method for controlling and satisfying the public’s demand for bile.

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