“Bear Farms” in China Have Been Torturing Thousands of Bears With Tiny Cages and Live Bile Extraction-Truth!
Summary of eRumor:
It is said that in China, 10,000 bears are being kept in cramped cages, so small that they cannot stand, and that permanent holes have been made in their bodies or catheters inserted to allow bile to removed on a regular, painful basis.
This was true but the Chinese government has announced that it will close down the bear farms and try to reintroduce the bears to the wild. According to a Reuters report dated July 25, 2000, Chinese officials signed an agreement with the Hong Kong based Animals Asia foundation to end the mistreatment of the bears, some of which had lived in the conditions of the farms for decades.
The World Society for Protection of Animals had investigated the allegations with first-hand visits to some of the bear farms and documented what some experts called the most appalling treatment of animal life they’ve ever seen. The bears were kept in small enclosures that looked more like coffins with bars than cages. They could not stand, change position, or move around. They had holes or catheters in their bodies where the bile could be harvested, which was said to be a painful procedure.
For many years, there has been concern over the hundreds of thousands of bears that have been killed by poachers who want just one thing: the bear’s gall bladder. Gall bile is highly valued in Chinese traditional medicine. An industry had emerged in China, however, to provide bear bile for more than the Chinese medical purposes. It was being extracted in massive quantities for use in products ranging from wines to shampoos. According to the WSPA, the Chinese medicinal use of bear bile is 500kg per year, but more than 7,000 kg of bear bile is being extracted annually, most of it for consumer products.
Updated 7/31/01 For more information:
World Society For Protection of Animals, THE BEAR ALLIANCE (U.S., International, and Canada Humane Societies)