Imagine living 20 years spending 24 hours a day in a cage that tightly fits your body, not giving you room to stand up, stretch out, turn around, or move at all.
Imagine that twice a day during these years you would have a metal catheter inserted into a hole which has been cut into your abdomen, allowing the catheter to easily puncture your gall bladder, or maybe a long syringe inserted into your gall bladder, piercing through your skin again and again, by people who are not doctors.
Imagine becoming infected and cancerous because of this twice-daily physical invasion, and becoming neurotic due to your claustrophobic imprisonment.
Imagine having one or both of your hands cut off so someone can sell them for a lot of money.
Imagine you begin to chew at your hands, if you are lucky enough to have one or both left, due to your developing neuroticism, and to distract yourself from the pain you experience twice a day, every day, for your entire life.
This is reality for an estimated minimum of 12,000 bears across Asia.
– Sara Pegarella, JD
About Bile Bear : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bile_bear
What is bear farming?
Bear farming is a practice whereby bile is extracted from a live bear's gall bladder. In the 1980s the bear farming industry was set up to intensively farm the bears. Over 12,000 bears are being kept in bear farms across China, Korea and Vietnam.
What is bear bile?
Bear bile has been used in Traditional Asian Medicine (TAM) for over 3,000 years. It is believed to aid ailments ranging from fevers to heart disease. Plant and animal products which are selected for use in TAM are classified according to their TAM properties.
- Four essences: cold, hot, warm, and cool.
- Five flavours: pungent, sweet, sour, bitter, and salty.
- Four directions of action: ascending, descending, sinking, and floating.
Bear gall bladder is classified as cold and bitter.
'Cold' drugs are believed to be effective in reducing fever and inflammation, and by cooling the blood, and detoxifying the body. 'Bitter' drugs are used to dispel heat, to dry dampness, and to purge the body.
Bear bile is used to treat a number of conditions, including:
- Reduction of swelling, inflammation and pain in cases of trauma;
- Treatment of liver disorders;
- Treatment of eye disorders;
- Reduction of fever.
The active ingredient in bear bile is called ursodeoxycholic acid (UDCA).
Where does bear farming occur?
Bear farming occurs largely in China, Vietnam and Korea. In 2005, Vietnam agreed to phase out their bear farms.
What are the methods of bile extraction?
Catheters: This technique involves the insertion of a stainless steel or latex catheter into the bear's gall bladder. The catheter is inserted through a hole cut in the bear's abdomen, and attached to the gall bladder. The outer end is left to protrude from the bear's abdomen by several centimetres.
A variation of this technique involves the end of the catheter being fitted to a detachable plastic bag. The bag is held in place in front of the bear's abdomen by a permanent metal harness. This procedure is now illegal, although still widely used.
Fistulae or Free Dripping Technique: In 1993, the Chinese authorities began to promote the use of new surgical techniques for bile extraction and the abolition of iron corsets. Today it is the only legal method of bile extraction in China. The free dripping technique involves the creation of a tissue duct between the gall bladder and the abdominal wall, using parts of the bear‘s inner body lining, known as the mesentery. Bile is collected by inserting a rod through the fistula towards the gall bladder, which then drains its content. To prevent the fistula from closing up the wound must be constantly re-opened - usually once or twice a day.
Why is bear farming an animal welfare issue?
Extraction of the bile is an inherently cruel and painful procedure, and bears are known to moan in pain when bile is being extracted. Bears are left with open weeping wounds that often become infected and inflamed, causing undoubtedly pain. The enclosures that the bears are kept in do not provide sufficient enrichment, and bears often show stereotypical behaviour to cope with their surroundings.
What alternatives are there?
There are many herbal and synthetic alternatives to bear bile. In 1994, the Chinese Association of Medicine and Philosophy and EarthCare established that there are many alternatives to bear bile and published their findings in a report. Today, large quantities of the active ingredient of bear bile, ursodeoxycholic acid (UDCA), are made synthetically and are widely used in the west and in Asia. It is estimated that 100,000kg of this synthetic UDCA is being consumed each year in China, Japan and South Korea, and that global consumption may be double this figure. WSPA produced an alternatives report, outlining the alternative products that can be used.
Where does the trade in bear products occur?
Bear farming and domestic trade in farmed bear products is legal in China and Korea; in Vietnam bear farming and all domestic trade in bears is illegal. However, all three countries have signed the Convention on the International Trade in Endangered Species of wild fauna and flora (CITES) and have enacted legislation to enforce CITES regulations. Under CITES all international trade in bears originating from China, Korea and Vietnam is illegal.
from :FAQs : http://www.endbearfarming.org/en/faq.html
*More than 12,000 bears are suffering desperately cruel conditions in Asia’s bear farms, right now.
They are confined so bile can be extracted from their gall bladders and sold for use in some Traditional Asian Medicine.
The inhumane methods used to extract bile causes severe pain and trauma to the bears, who occupy tiny cages. Their suffering is intense. See inside the bear farms>>
WSPA believes bear farming is cruel, unnecessary and must end. Increasing numbers of Traditional Asian Medicine practitioners agree, and are turning to herbal and synthetic alternatives.
read more from WSPA here :
Plea for bear bile extraction ban :
the government should also encourage farmers to exit from the bear bile extraction industry, and stop registration of bear bile-made medicine while encouraging research on alternatives of bear bile.
Many traditional Chinese medicine experts claimed that bear bile can clear the liver and improve vision.
For more than 3,000 years, bears have been hunted in Asia for their gallbladders and the valuable bile within..
Read more here :
****Among those poor poor bears, a blind and lethargic soul lay in his cage. Broken and suffering, we nicknamed him Watermelon after the only piece of fruit he would lick on that unforgettable night.
Over the next few months, Watermelon was renamed Wilfred by his kind sponsor and a forgiving, fun loving bear emerged. Despite the expertise of our veterinary staff - and that of kind Ophthalmologists Claudia and David (and nurse Kerry) from the UK's Animal Health Trust who so desperately wanted to give him the gift of sight, it wasn't to be and Wilfred remains blind.
You would never know. Today he is a happy and contented bear who potters around his enclosure in House 8, and has formed a close friendship with several of the other bears. One of his best friends
is the gorgeous Mityan - another blind bear, and when Jill came across these two boys gently playing together,she couldn't resist getting our her camera. : http://www.animalsasia.org/index.php?UID=PCPEAT3QNUB
a Chinese bear bile producer in Fujian Province, has been preparing to get listed on the Chinese stock market to expand its bear farming and bile manufacturing activities. The company has about 470 bears under its control and is now looking to scale up to thousands of bears. here :
***Nous devons tout faire pour faire stopper ces tortures et ne pas arrêter de demander /écrire aux dirigeants chinois et ceux des pays acceptant ces fermes pour METTRE UN TERME A CES IGNOBLES PRATIQUES . Ces pays représentent une honte à l'échelle internationale ! merci de les boycotter !!! comment imaginer d' aller passer des vacances dans ces endroits ??OMG !! merci de partager et de signer les pétitions .