HANOI – March 21, 2011 – The Vietnamese government has announced a crackdown on illegal bear bile tourism, following reports of bile extraction for tourists by the World Society for the Protection of Animals’ (WSPA) member society, Education for Nature-Vietnam (ENV).
Last month, ENV released an exposé on bear owners in Quang Ninh Province who continue to extract bear bile and sell it to tourists. Shortly after, the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism sent a letter to tour companies engaged in this so-called bear bile tourism, warning that they could lose their business licenses if they continued to sell the product.
“This is fantastic news and clearly demonstrates that the government of Vietnam sees the damage bear farming is causing their tourist industry,” said Dave Eastham, WSPA Captive Bears Campaign Leader. “We urge the authorities to now step up their efforts to ensure an end to the farming of thousands of bears across the country for their bile.”
Approximately 3,000 bears – almost all stolen from the wild – are kept under terrible conditions in illegal bear “farms” in Vietnam. They live in tiny, barren cages, often with no space to stand or move, for the duration of their lifetime. READ FULL ARTICLE