Archive for the ‘bear bile’ Category

Animal Welfare Related Responses – repoasted by @AgreeToDisagree – 6th February 2012

In animal welfare, bear bile, nature reserve, political correctness, spirit of the law, spiritual abuse, zoo are failures on February 4, 2012 at 9:14 am


Bears kept in tiny cages by Chinese for their bile ‘commit suicide’ with hunger strikes to escape barbaric torture – by Suzannah Hills – Last updated at 3:15 PM on 3rd February 2012

Bears kept in tiny cages by the Chinese who harvest their bile are starving themselves to death as their only way of escaping the misery of their captivity.

An estimated 12,000 bears are kept in captivity in China and Vietnam to harvest bile, a digestive juice stored in the gall bladder, which is prized in traditional Chinese medicine.

The bears are often kept in ‘crush cages’, measuring about 2ft 6ins by 4 ft 2ins, forcing them to lie on their backs and making it easier for the ‘farmer’ to draw the bile through a tube inserted into the bear’s stomach. A caged bear is raised for bile extraction at a private restaurant in Van Dinh town, Northern province of Ha Tay,Vietnam for nearly two years

Now animal rights campaigners claim that the creatures have been witnessed deliberately starving themselves to death.

Campaigner Louis Ng said he first encountered bears on ‘hunger strike’ during a visit to a Laotian bile farm in 2009.

When Mr Ng, the director of Animal Concerns Research and Education Society in Singapore, visited the farm in November that year he discovered a female bear lying motionless in a cage.

The owner told him the bear had been refusing food for ten days and was starving herself to death. She died the next day.

The farms generally use the Asiatic black bear, which is now listed as vulnerable on the World Conservation Union’s Red List of Threatened Animals.

Since the 1980s the number of bears farmed in Asia has increased to around 12,000 as a cost effective way to meet the demand for ursodeoxycholic acid – the active ingredient in bear bile – which has been used to treat kidney problems and stomach and digestive disorders.
Men in China have also used bear bile as an aphrodisiac or to help cure hangovers.

More recently it has been added to non-medicinal products such as wine and shampoo in China, the World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA) claims.

Mr Ng said: ‘The bile is removed from the bear by inserting a catheter tube through a permanent incision in the abdomen and gall bladder. Sometimes a permanently implanted metal tube is used.’

A captive bear having bile removed from the gall bladder with a catheter tube, which the World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA) says would be ‘incredibly painful’ for the bear’

Rescued: A bear called ‘Ben Ben’, which was saved from a bear farm in Liaoning Province after eight-year’s confinement in cages, is transferred to a bear rescue center in Chengdu, China, in 2005

Model Lisa B, actor Brian Blessed, fashion designer Elizabeth Emanuel and actress Trudie Goodwin support the WSPA (World Society for the Protection of Animals) campaign against China’s bear bile farms in 2002


There are still 12,000 Asiatic black bears held captive in bile farms across southeast Asia

Captive bears are kept in ‘crush cages’ measuring 2.6 feet by 4.2 feet – giving them no room to move

Many rescued bile bears are found with head injuries from repeatedly bashing their heads against their cages

China produces 7,000 kilos of bear bile a year – but only consumes 4,000

A kilo of bear bile sells for the equivalent of £1,1771

Ursodeoxycholic acid (UDCA) is the active ingredient found in bear bile

In traditional Chinese medicine, UDCA is used to treat kidney problems and digestive problems

Many people in Asia also use bear bile as hemorrhoid cream or to treat cuts and bruises

Asian men have also used bear as an aphrodisiac and to cure hangovers

Scientists have developed synthetic versions of UDCA that could be used as an alternative in Chinese medicine

Bile is typically tubed from the gall bladder at least twice a day.

Chris Gee, captive bear campaigns manager for the World Society for the Protection of Animals, confirmed that it had heard reports of bears starving themselves to death, ppening but hadn’t seen any incidents firs thand.

Mr Gee said: ‘I’ve seen reports of this in the past and while we’ve never witnessed this it is true that bears in these farms do go out of their minds with frustration at their captivity.

‘They are kept in horrendous conditions with bile being extracted from their gall bladder on a daily basis. For some of them, as horrible as it is to say, death would be the best option for them.

‘On visits to these farms during our campaigns to raise awareness and try and put a stop to them we have seen bears repeatedly banging their heads against their cage bars in frustration.’

China produces 7,000 kilos of bear bile a year – worth the equivalent of £1,771 a kilo – but only consumes 4,000 kilos.

Mr Gee added: ‘Because of the discrepancies in what is produced compared to what is consumed it is highly likely that the rest is sold on the black market around the world.

‘There are now perfectly good synthetic replacements for UDCA and we are campaigning to raise awareness of this.

‘Bear bile is still used as a hemorrhoid cream, for cuts and bruises, and even for sore throats completely unnecessarily.
Brutal: The WSPA says bears at bile farms go through ‘life-long suffering’ because of the horrendous conditions they are kept in

Brutal: The WSPA says bears at bile farms go through ‘life-long suffering’ because of the horrendous conditions they are kept in
An Asiatic black bear after being released into a bear sanctuary at the Moon Bear Rescue Center at Longqiao, near Chengdu, in China’s southwest Sichuan province in 2002

An Asiatic black bear after being released into a bear sanctuary at the Moon Bear Rescue Center at Longqiao, near Chengdu, in China’s southwest Sichuan province in 2002

‘Some men have even been known to use it as a hangover cure or as a aphrodisiac because of the idea of being as a tough as a bear. ‘

Mr Ng is now setting up a rescue centre in Laos on a five-hectare site with a 12-room building for volunteers and two enclosures to accommodate 29 bears.

The £320,000 facility will be used to rehabilitate the bears after a life of captivity and is expected to be ready for volunteers by June.
Video: Warning – contains distressing images

The comments below have been moderated in advance.

This world is very very ill, the animals were given to this world for the human race to look after, and nurture , not kill for pleasure and greed…There is going to be a hard rain coming …..You betcha there is… I hope i’m not around to see it…

– mary, Cheshire, UK, 03/2/2012 15:05
Rating   1

What is the particular difference between beef, pork, dog meat and bear bile? You have criticized us for eating dogs, and now this! What about your slaughter of cattle and pigs? This is unfair! – nnn, China, 3/2/2012 13:03>>>We at least try to slaughter animals for food humanely with the least suffering possible. You cram terrified dogs into cages, piled on top of one another and transport them over long distances with no food or water. Those poor bears are also confined in cages for years on end with an open sore that is dug into time and time again with not even a local anaesthetic to obtain bile which probably doesn’t even work as you think it does! Has this been scientifically proved to work? that’s the difference!!!!

– JANDOR, LEICESTER, UK, 03/2/2012 15:05
Rating (0)

The headline does not make sense. Are the Chinese committing suicide or are you claiming the bears are (which is ridiculous). It is a disgusting practice but less so than the slaughter of 2 million babies a year in the US.

– Sarah, Anza, CA, 03/2/2012 15:04
Rating   3

This is sickening

– Chloe, Clevedon, 03/2/2012 15:03
Rating (0)

Reading “nnn.China’s” rebuttal comments one can unfortunately read that he/she cannot see the difference between humane killing and inhumane killing. May as well talk to the Great wall of China! [[[ Expect unpleasant reviews of any foreign invaders in the past . . . ]]]

– Peter Martin, Espoo Finland, 03/2/2012 15:02
Rating   2

I don’t think an animal can commit suicide by choice. There not really aware of the concept and are driven by instincts. I think they may only do so not by choice but as a result of some mental condition due to their confinement, I don’t see them doing it to escape as a direct thought. This article highlights an important point but in a sensationalist style (and it did not need to).

– ashenkorren, suffolk, 03/2/2012 15:02
Rating (0)

nothing suprises me about Chinese.

– Andy, Toronto, 03/2/2012 15:01
Rating   2

I am continually disgusted by this inhumane (and completely unnecessary!) practice. Although I am Chinese myself, I will never advocate for any sort of cruelty towards animals. Absolutely ashamed! Fortunately, my secondary school is big on community and service work so my peers and I were able to raise enough money to save a few bears from these vile farms. It won’t make a big difference in the world, but it has made a world of difference in the eyes of the bears. If I’m not mistaken, it takes 10,000 HKD or 816 or so pounds to save a single bear.

– Thea, Hong Kong, 03/2/2012 15:01
Rating   6

This is but one aspect of animal husbandry practiced in China which goes beyond our own tastes in terms of meat etc but is also downright cruel. Just be very careful what you purchase from this country which needs to apply modern cruelty-free farming methods soonest – including animal bi-products such as fur/leather. And perhaps they should come into the 21st Century and realise that Rhino horn, (live) snake’s blood, shark’s fin, bear’s bile and other such things are no aphrodisiac or panacea for a good doctor’s diagnosis and cure. Even a herbalist could probaly apply better treatments for the supersticious of the world. The western world has its own poisons in foodstuffs etc all over the place – top of my list is aspartame – but I would personally never use any such ‘natural’ medicines which might contain cruelly obtained animal products.

– Ann, Southern Area, UK, 03/2/2012 14:50
Rating   1

Chinese traditional medicine has much to answer for. – Leew, lancashire, so does western medicine, and western consumables…. have you heard about what they do to all types of different animals, during testing of products?? quite frankly , the way humans generally treat animals and their lives, with disregard is disgusting, the world over…!

– fifi, wales, 03/2/2012 14:48

[[[ *** RESPONSE *** ]]]

Continue collecting but improve the conditions as well as the technology in the collection. Let these bears roam free (also breed freely) in a ‘collection reserve’ and use painless micro or nano tubes, and micro or nano needles with automatic collection devices installed on a collar (i.e. device should be a small motor with suction and a vial for the bile which can be collected at the end of the day etc..). Otherwise collection methods are inhumane. Remember that in the wild, bears do get ticks or other small biting insects, so the micro/nano option should not cause too much disturbance or ill health effects than a single maggot wound that never heals . . . but being locked up and installed with these hideously large and very invasive machines and/or wiring is terrible! Surely China has the technology to spare so as not to be referred to as a disgraceful and cruel nation. Healing humans with fair amounts of bear bile (leave some for the bear) is fine. But don’t hurt or incarcerate the bears in the process. Also remember to give the bears ‘holidays’ and weekends where no collection is done and there is no presence of humans.

“Scientists have developed synthetic versions of UDCA that could be used as an alternative in Chinese medicine.” This synthetic option is even more harmful (probably mutagenic) in the long run and destroys the very reputation of TCM’s 100% organic reputation, nullifies the unique organic nature of TCM (perhaps intentionally?). Chinese and TCM practicioners, NEVER use a synthetic replacement when organic versions exist or such implanted/extraction devices of this size.


Perhilitan’s animal insticts – As long as there’s demand, illegal meat trade will flourish, says Perhilitan head – IKRAM ISMAIL Friday, July 15th, 2011 14:26:00

Abd Rasid Samsudin
WILDLIFE authorities in the country have long been fighting to stem the tide of illegal trade of the meat of endangered species in the country. The issue was recently brought to the fore after a raid by the Department of Wildlife and National Park (Perhilitan) led to the discovery of 1.27kg of meat, supposedly that of the endangered Malayan sun bear, being served in a restaurant in Jalan Kuching.

The Malay Mail spoke to Perhilitan director-general DATUK ABD RASID SAMSUDIN (left) yesterday about what the department is doing to tackle the issue.

Q: Why do restaurants persist in serving dishes made from the meat of exotic and endangered species?

A: It is about demand and supply. If there is no demand for such meat, it would not be sold. For example, during the raid on July 6, there were a variety of meat being served at the restaurant but people preferred to eat dishes made from the meat of the Malayan sun bear. The case is still under investigation.

Q: Where do these restaurant operators get their supply of such meat?

A: They go through a middlemen. Orang asli, who have access to national parks and forests in the Peninsular, are being paid a small sum to hunt for the meat. It is a pity the orang asli are being used this way as many do it for the money.
Malayan sun bear

In the Wildlife Conservation Act 2010, orang asli are allowed to hunt for endangered wildlife such as deer and ayam hutan (jungle fowl) but only enough to feed themselves. Imagine, an orang asli is paid only RM380 for each Pangolin they catch, which isn’t much. However, we are not blaming their community as they are being taken advantage of by irresponsible parties.

Q: Who is tipping-off Perhilitan on such illegal trade?

A: We are proud to say we receive tip-offs from the public. More people are becoming aware of such trade and when they give us accurate information, we give them a small reward.

Q: Does Perhilitan monitor restaurants in the Klang Valley suspected of selling exotic dishes?

A: Yes. We have identified several hotspots in the Klang Valley, such as in Subang Jaya, where restaurants serve exotic dishes. Some restaurants have been raided many times but they still serve those dishes, so we have to constantly monitor them. Our aim is to find their main supplier.

Q: How many illegal traders have been arrested and charged?

A: In the last five years, we arrested and charged 170 individuals under the Wildlife Conservation Act.

Q: What action has Perhilitan taken to tackle this menace?

A: We constantly monitor our national forests. There are several laws enshrined in the new Wildlife Conservation Act 2010, which we enforce, such as Subsection 62, which states anyone who hunts or keeps the female of a protected species without a licence shall be liable to a fine not exceeding RM100,000 or imprisonment for a term not exceeding five years or both.

Meanwhile, Subsection 63 stipulates any person who carries out wildlife trade or taxidermy without a licence shall be liable to a fine not exceeding RM50,000 or imprisonment up to two years or both, upon conviction.

Q: How many animal species are protected by Perhilitan?

A: There are 2,120 protected endangered species and subspecies. We also protect several non-endangered animals, such as wildboar and monkeys, in order to preserve the natural habitat.

Q: Which protected species or animal products are the most traded in and out of Malaysia?

A: The three most traded are pangolin, wildboar and clouded monitor. Others include murai batu (white-rumped shama) and merbah telinga merah (red-whiskered bulbul) bird nests.

[[[ *** RESPONSE *** ]]]

Legalize breeding programmes in conjunction with specialised breeding conservatories and reserves of reasonable habitat size (few dozen to few hundred acres?) to house COLONIES of the animal, not a single specimen or even a breeding pair or family group. How would you live to be stuck in a cage with no companionship FOREVER? At least a community of same species and in a spacious/natural manner. When endangered animal numbers are stable with surplus, sale and culling can commence. Of course this is a temporary format before lab grown meat from the required species can replace the old method called farming. By then the reserve or conservatory would be able to distribute to other reserves and conservatories around the world.

Zoos are a failed paradigm as exhibits are definitely not large enough to comfortably house colonies of animals in as spacious and natural a habitat as possible. For example a pride of 30 Lions needs 100 sq miles to be comfortable, maybe 50 sq miles with ample prey provided by reserve owners. So think, how can a single Zoo claim to be humane when showing 100s of species in  110 acres (size of Zoo Negara) ? A series of reserves would be more realistic, with a multi storey paradigm necessary for increasingly land scarce Malaysia.

While at it, building architects should consider that 300 to 2000 sq ft are too small for most families who do suffer stress from cramped conditions. They cannot create sustainable societies on people crammed into pigeonholes or Terrace Houses or Duplexes (Semi-Ds) not much larger than Rabbit hutches.

QUOTE ‘ The dream of America is to live in a duplex and share a yard. Why would anyone want to threaten that great future? Answer me that and I’ll show you a green dog.’ UNQUOTE – Congressman Alex Shrub (GTA Wiki)