Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Please Help: Bear Bile Farming

I am conscious that I've written a lot of baby-related posts lately so today I wanted to write about something else close to my heart.  I was really upset earlier after reading a heart breaking news story about bear bile farming in Asia.




Please read the article here: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2025388/China-Tortured-mother-bear-kills-cub-herself.html?ito=feeds-newsxml


More than 12,000 bears are currently in captivity in China, farmed for their bile.  



This means they are locked in tiny cages called 'crush cages',  These cages totally restrict movement, the bears are prevented from hibernating, the cage floors are iron bars and they can't lie down, and the cages have a 'crush bar' that pins the bear down on the floor on its back when the worker wants to extract bile.
  

The bears then undergo horrific surgery, in which either their abdomen is cut open and a tube is placed into the gall bladder to extract the bile, with the tube being left in and the wound reopened constantly to allow access, or the gall bladder in located on an ultrasound and the bile is syringed out.  These operations are carried out up to 3 times a day, by unskilled staff who have no veterinary training, and without pain relief.  It is immensely cruel and the bears visibly suffer. 




The bears are often fitted with an iron 'vest' to prevent them from pulling out the tube and to stop them from killing themselves by hitting themselves in the stomach as they can't bear the pain.



The story I read earlier that I found so utterly devastating and upsetting is about a mother bear who broke out of her cage after hearing her cub howling in agony after it's stomach was punctured for the first time.  The workers who were operating on the baby cub ran away in fear, and unable to free the baby from his restraints his mother hugged him and hugged him, before killing him and then herself to end their pain and misery. 

 


Bear bile is used in Chinese medicine, and there are many cheaper herbal and synthetic alternatives.  There is absolutely no need at all to inflict such sickening suffering and pain on animals.  It is needless, pointless cruelty to intelligent, loving animals.  I hope to raise awareness with this blog post, please tell everyone you know and feel free to link on your Facebook/Twitter/Blog.  




The best thing you can do if you don't agree with this is to tell friends, family, colleagues and everyone you know, and discourage anyone from using products containing bear bile! 





Several animal charities, such as Animals Asia Foundation, Born Free and WSPA, are campaigning to end bear bile farming, working with the Asian governments and with practitioners, and rescuing bears.  Please consider donating to them and PLEASE sign their petition here.  



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