Release of bear bile footage exposes cruel and unnecessary industry

11 November 2013

World Animal Protection has today released new footage from within bear bile facilities in Asia which demonstrates the unbelievable animal cruelty that is inherent within the bear bile industry.

These bears are kept in small cages for their entire lives and exploited for their bile – an ingredient in some traditional medicine as well as new non-traditional cosmetic and lifestyle products. There are multiple herbal and synthetic alternatives available. Few of these bears have access to outside areas and all are still denied basic welfare by not being able to roam free or live in their natural environment. These wild bears have been tragically turned into commodities. 

Protect this Bear

In Australia, World Animal Protection is asking people to support the Protect This Bear campaign to support the work they is doing with governments, local partners and people across Asia towards eliminating the cruel bear bile industry. 

World Animal Protection estimates that around 20,000 bears across Asia are exploited in this industry. We believe that all wild animals should be protected from cruelty – not used, abused, sold or farmed. 

The footage released was taken in Vietnam, one of the countries in Asia where bears suffer in captivity, and where over 2000 bears are exploited for their bile. World Animal Protection has helped to reduce that number by half since 2005. 

"One of the worst forms of animal cruelty"

World Animal Protection is working with the Government of Vietnam and local partners Education for Nature Vietnam (ENV) to move people to protect the bears. Over 100,000 Vietnamese people have already taken a pledge not to consume bear bile. World Animal Protection supports more than 3,000 volunteers across Vietnam to monitor and report wildlife crimes like bear bile extraction.  

Luke Nicholson, Regional Project Manager, said: “I’ve seen this cruelty first hand and it’s abhorrent. You have to see it to believe it. The bear bile industry is amongst the world’s worst forms of animal cruelty and it impacts tens of thousands of bears across Asia. All of this despite the availability of perfectly adequate synthetic and herbal alternatives.

“We need Australians to get behind WSPA’s Protect this Bear campaign to help end this industry. It’s cruel, it’s unnecessary and it’s time for change”. 

“I’ve seen this cruelty first hand and it’s abhorrent. You have to see it to believe it. The bear bile industry is amongst the world’s worst forms of animal cruelty and it impacts tens of thousands of bears across Asia. All of this despite the availability of perfectly adequate synthetic and herbal alternatives."
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