Bear Bile Farming
Genuinely, as may become common on these pages – images may be upsetting! Below I will provide a basic overview of the Industry but I urge you to research it further and support the charities which are endeavoring to end the practice.
The practice of bear bile farming is legal in Asia, largely practiced in China and Vietnam. The purpose is to extract the bile from their gall bladders for medicinal purposes, despite other herbal and synthetic options available. Bears are often kept in unbearably small cages for potentially 20-30 years. A number of methods, though not all legal, are used to extract the bile, mainly by creating a permanent hole in the abdomen and into the gall bladder, from here the bile can drip out as its produced. If the animal is fully mobile, maybe you can image some of the logistical issues with collecting this pricey product, pictures below may inform of the farmers solution..
Animals Asia is a charity committed to ending this cruelty and run fantastic sanctuaries where they strive to rehabilitate the animal from the both physical and psychological trauma it has suffered. They are helping massively to address the demand of bear bile through education, however this is traditional medicine and so part of a nations culture, beliefs and heritage.
One thing I would like to re-iterate is that though this may seem despicable to us it is a method developed with traditions and a culture. These are factors that we must completely respect and understand that animal welfare is perceived in very different ways internationally. Only education and respect will lead to the reduction and ultimate end of this farming. Fox hunting ban didn’t exactly go down a storm with many in the UK..