More than 10,000 mainly Asian black bears (also known as moon bears) but also sun bears and brown bears, are kept in captivity on bile farms in China and around 2,400 in Vietnam. Other countries where this appalling practice takes place are North Korea, South Korea, Laos and Myanmar.
They are kept in painfully small cages and farmed for their bile. This is a digestive fluid produced by the gall bladder and is used in traditional Chinese medicine.
An ultrasound imager is used to locate the gall bladder which is then punctured and the bile extracted. A tube is then entered into the gall bladder through the abdomen. According to The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), the bile is usually extracted twice a day through such implanted tubes, producing 10–20 ml of bile during each extraction.
World Animal Protection sent researchers to 11 bile farms and reported seeing bears moaning, banging their heads against their cages and chewing their own paws (autophagia).
Bile is extracted using various painful, invasive techniques, all of which cause massive infection in the bears. This cruel practice continues despite the availability of a large number of effective and affordable herbal and synthetic alternatives.
Most farmed bears are kept in tiny cages. In China, the cages are sometimes so small that the bears are unable to turn around or stand on all fours. Some bears are put into cages as cubs and never released. Bears may be kept caged like this for up to 30 years. Most farmed bears are starved, dehydrated and suffer from multiple diseases and malignant tumours that ultimately kill them. www.animalsasia.org
Please read more at www.animalsasia.org, where you can also donate to their campaign against bear bile farming. Animals Asia have so far rescued over 500 bears from bear bile farms in China and Vietnam.