AUGUST 11, 2022- The call to end the bile bear trade is mounting with growing momentum both inside Vietnam and around the world. This week, two leading organizations in animal welfare, World Animal Protection US and FOUR PAWS, join together to deliver a letter to His Excellency Nguyen Quoc Dzung, the Vietnamese Ambassador in Washington, D.C. asking for his support to end bear bile farming in Hanoi once and for all. 17,021 signatures from Americans wishing to see a better future for Asiatic Black Bears, jointly collected from the two organizations will be presented.
Globally, Four Paws has collected 150,348 signatures asking for a stronger commitment by the Vietnamese government to end bear bile farming.
Bear bile is the process of extracting stomach bile from the gallbladder of Asiatic Black Bears. This bile is mostly bought and sold to make traditional medicines and tinctures. “Bile bears” are subjected to incredible pain through the extraction process and suffer from the deplorable conditions on bile farms. Most suffer from chronic liver and gallbladder disease and frequently develop secondary complications, like liver cancer. Inappropriate housing conditions, inadequate diet, and exercise deprivation can and do lead to mobility problems, wasted muscles, and obesity. Due to boredom and escape attempts, many bears also often chew on their cage bars, which result in broken and damaged teeth.
Seventeen years have passed since the Vietnamese government outlawed bear bile farming in Vietnam. Since then, World Animal Protection has been working with the Vietnam government to register and microchip all bears living on farms across the country and monitoring them with inspections.
As a result of collective efforts, 41 provinces remain free from bear bile farming and the number of bile bears has been reduced from more than 4,300 in 2005 to 282 today. While most of Vietnam has made great progress in ending the cruel practice of bear bile farming, Hanoi remains the country’s bear bile farming hotspot, with 148 bears still in captivity on 27 farms, accounting for 52% of the total bile bears in Vietnam.
In the letter to be delivered Friday, World Animal Protection and FOUR PAWS are asking His Excellency Nguyen Quoc Dzung to reach out to the Hanoi People’s Committee and remind them that a bear farm-free future could be realized in Hanoi and the entire country by; strengthening bear bile farm monitoring and inspections; taking immediate and decisive action if violations or illegal bears are found on bear farms by confiscating bears; ensuring strict prosecution and punishment for serious violations; enacting a breeding ban on private bear farms; convincing bear bile business owners to voluntarily transfer their bears to authorities without compensation; and, promoting herbal and other humane alternatives to bear bile.
About World Animal Protection
World Animal Protection is the global voice for animal welfare, with more than 70 years’ experience campaigning for a world where animals live free from cruelty and suffering.
World Animal Protection has offices in 12 countries and works across 47 countries collaborating with local communities, the private sector, civil society and governments to change animals’ lives for the better.
The organization’s goal is to change the way the world works to end animal cruelty and suffering for both wild and farmed animals. Through its global food system strategy, World Animal Protection will end factory farming and create a humane and sustainable food system, that puts animals first. By transforming the broken systems that fuel exploitation and commodification, the organization will give wild animals the right to a wild life. Its work to protect animals will play a vital role in solving the climate emergency, the public health crisis and the devastation of natural habitats.
For over 15 years, World Animal Protection and our local partners have worked with the Vietnamese government to end the cruel practice of bear bile farming and protect the small population of bears remaining in the wild.
About FOUR PAWS
FOUR PAWS is the global animal welfare organization for animals under direct human influence, which reveals suffering, rescues animals in need, and protects them. FOUR PAWS is working to end the suffering of the world’s saddest bears left in captivity. This includes rescuing bears across the world, caring for them in one of the organization’s seven bear sanctuaries, and advocating for legislative change to protect bears where they are. FOUR PAWS has been working with local partners in Vietnam since 2017 to rescue bile bears from their gruesome fate. With its bear sanctuary in Ninh Binh, FOUR PAWS is supporting the Vietnamese government to enforce the end of bile bear farming in Vietnam and provide a species-appropriate home for rescued bears.
FOUR PAWS is the global animal welfare organization for animals under direct human influence, which reveals suffering, rescues animals in need and protects them. Founded in 1988 in Vienna by Heli Dungler and friends, the organization advocates for a world where humans treat animals with respect, empathy, and understanding. The sustainable campaigns and projects of FOUR PAWS focus on companion animals including stray dogs and cats, farm animals, and wild animals – such as bears, big cats and orangutans – kept in inappropriate conditions as well as in disaster and conflict zones. With offices in Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, France, Germany, Kosovo, the Netherlands, Switzerland, South Africa, Thailand, Ukraine, the UK, the USA and Vietnam as well as sanctuaries for rescued animals in eleven countries, FOUR PAWS provides rapid help and long-term solutions. www.fourpawsusa.org