Pets Hunters

Leave it to China - the ultimate in animal abuse

A recent report in The New York Times describes that a dozen Asiatic black bears, malnourished and diseased from years spent on abusive bile-harvesting farms in southwest China had been rescued.

Bile-harvesting, you ask. What is bile-harvesting?

State-approved farms in Sichuan province warehouse bears where holes are cut into their abdomens so that their bile could drip out to be harvested and used in Chinese traditional medicine to cure ailments ranging from headaches to hemorrhoids.

China started allowing bear bile farming in the 1980s, saying it would protect wild Asiatic black bears by satisfying the market for bile with farmed products.

The approved means of bile collection in China is through a permanent hole put in a bear's abdomen -- a process known as the ''free drip'' method. Animals Asia says this still causes pain and the slow death of bears. But more painful methods ranging from inserting metal catheters and rubber tubes into the bears' abdomens, which have been banned by the government, are still believed to be used in China.

An estimated 7,000 bears are kept in China's 247 bile-harvesting farms, according to government estimates, but Animals Asia believes the number could be as high as 10,000.

Ironically, wild bears are still poached because wild bile is believed to be better than farmed bile.

Read more about bear bile farming at Animals Asia.


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