Every few days, the bears are sedated, a needle is inserted into their gall bladders and bile is extracted to be sold as a cure for ailments as diverse as hemorrhoids and hangovers. More than 20,000 bears are kept, most in appalling conditions, across eastern Asia to satisfy an age-old obsession with the medicinal and magical powers of products culled from exotic animals.
Yet there is a ray of hope for some of these bears, as public awareness of animal cruelty and welfare gradually rises across Asia. "
That means bear farming is very clearly coming to an end in Vietnam, “once and for all,” said Jill Robinson, founder of Animals Asia. “I think they realized that both internally and internationally, bear bile farming was becoming a very unpalatable subject.”
Since 1995 Free the Bears Fund has provided support to a wide range of projects across the globe; from the rehabilitation of orphaned bear cubs in the Russian Far East to surveying wild Spectacled bears in Ecuador. As Free the Bears has grown we have focused more intensely on the Sun bears and Asiatic black bears of South-east Asia and the Sloth bears of India.
By creating partnerships that are tailored to each individual country and situation we have been able to support a wide range of projects in our six priority countries; Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Laos, Thailand and Vietnam. Despite these countries being geographically close to one another, the threats to bears vary widely and as such our responses encompass a wide range of strategies including environmental awareness, sustainable livelihoods, increased enforcement and research and protection of wild bear populations.
Our support ranges from direct intervention on-the-ground to providing much-needed funds to local organisations carrying out bear conservation work in line with our goals. To find out more about the various projects that we support, please select from the menu to the left. VISIT FREETHEBEARS.ORG
From an interview with Mary Hutton by Claudette Vaughan reported on the ABOLISTIONIST-ONLINE.COM:
The Bear Paw Soup is considered a delicacy in Cambodia. Some bears are taken because the meat is tender. The cub again is taken from the wild, the mother most likely killed. The cubs are put in a cage. This is not a dish specific to Cambodian either. The Koreans, the Japanese, the Chinese, the Taiwanese all go and order their bowls of Bear Paw Soup. The paw is cut off and the stump is sealed in hot coals and on oil to stop the bleeding. That paw is served as a delicacy. It’s called “Braised Bear Paw Soup” served with onions and garlic and it can fetch around US$200-$300 dollars per serve.This has been stopped to a huge extent by a big advertising awareness campaign that we worked with the group “Wild Aid” who are up there as well. 70% of this has now been stopped. There was one restaurant that didn’t comply. He was closed down by the Mayor and threatened with if he serves anything like this again, including any exotic pieces such as tigers, he would not be allowed to reopen. Due to this initiate it’s not very often now that you see a bowl of bear paw soup around on a menu.
If that one bear still survives having it’s paw cut off slowly each paw is taken by other people. Not so much now, because the trade is dying out, but that poor bear will go on until all four paws have gone. The bear then immersed in a boiling hot vat of water because people like to see the bear and ensure the meat is fresh before eating him.
We have made such a fuss about the Cambodian Paw Soup issue however we also know that bears are farmed in Vietnam and are trapped in other sorts of ways. I can tell you it is very distressing.
STRAIGHT FROM http://www.greenmuze.com/animals/wild/768-bear-bile-farming.html
Posing as buyers and suppliers in the illegal wildlife trade, eco warriors have taken hidden cameras where some of the most heinous crimes against nature are taking place: on bear bile farms in China.
Other Earth saviors have packed unhidden cameras when they've gone on rescue missions to record the conditions of the bears they save and the ones they have to tragically leave behind.
I urge each of you reading this to help in the campaign to end this abuse by passing along this link and other information from organizations dedicated to saving bears. Also sign petitions, write letters, and reach out in your own creative way. The thought of cutting off the paw of a bear for 'bear paw soup' leaves me so disillusioned by the humans on both ends of the supply/demand chain. Who would cage these beautiful animals for a lifetime to take bile from them while the animals suffer unimaginably? Do your part to shine a light on these egregious acts of inhumanity.
FROM: World Society for the Protection of Animals
The reality of bear farming is that an estimated 14,000 bears (this was posted in 2011 and in 2018, the Washington Post states the number has risen to 20,000) are being kept in tiny cages across Asia, starved and dehydrated, and milked for their bile. The bile removed from farmed bears is thick and infected, containing blood, pus, urine and faeces and is collected in unsterilised basins.
Many of these endangered species are captured illegally from the wild. Some are drugged, restrained and have their abdomens jabbed with unsterilised four inch needles until their gall bladders are punctured to release the bile. Others are milked through open infected abdominal wounds, or catheters made from latex or rusty metal.
They are pumped full of antibiotics and other drugs just to keep them alive. Most of them develop massive infections, multiple diseases and malignant tumours that ultimately kill them. They are often kept in tiny cages for up to 30 years – the space is so small that they can’t even turn around."