China ready to phase out bear bile industry

28 June 2016

Protection in collaboration with China’s AITA Foundation for Animal Protection, saw the coming together of academics and activists to explore new ways to end the bear bile industry in China.

Ahead of the forum, World Animal Protection gathered results from an online survey of 1,800 people across 10 Chinese cities – and the findings were very encouraging.

Almost 84% of survey respondents hope to see the bear bile industry banned. And over 90% of respondents who had previously purchased or used bear bile, stated they would no longer do so in the future.

The results highlight growing support for the use of readily available and humane herbal and synthetic alternatives to bear bile.

Bear bile has been used in traditional Asian medicine for thousands of years. The traditional method for obtaining bile was to hunt and kill wild bears to extract the gallbladder. In China today, tens of thousands of captive bears are forced to suffer severe pain and psychological distress so that bile can be syphoned from the gallbladder for the duration of the bear’s life. There is no humane way to extract bile from a live bear. It truly is one of the most inhumane forms of animal cruelty.

Emily Reeves, Director of Programs Asia Pacific at World Animal Protection, says, “China’s bear bile industry was only created in the 1980s. It has no part in China’s traditions, and should have no part in China’s future. The Government of China has already taken important steps forward to review the bear bile industry. Now, it’s time to start planning its phase out for good.”

Your support allows World Animal Protection to gather research and work with Chinese authorities to bring about historic and permanent reform to the bear bile industry. Thank you.

In South Korea and Vietnam significant progress has already been made towards the end of the bear bile industry. More than 90% of the captive bear population in South Korea has been sterilised, which means fewer bears will be born into captivity. And the number of captive bears in Vietnam continues to decline.

Our vision is for China to follow suit, and create real and lasting change for bears so that they can remain in the wild where they belong.

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