Black bears being held captive in Asia.
In parts of Asia such as China, Korea and Vietnam there is an estimated 12,000 Black bears being held captive in the bile-farming industry, The bears are kept in “crush cages” which are only approximately 2.5ft by 4ft and because of the size of the cage are forced to lay down on their backs, which also makes it easier for the “farmer” to extract the bile via tubes from their gall bladder, the farmers do this on a daily basis.
The bile is required from the Black bears being held captive because it contains ursodeoxycholic acid which apparently helps to treat digestive and kidney problems in humans. Ursodeoxycholic acid is also used as an aphrodisiac, a hangover cure and an additive to shampoo and even wine, it is also used in Chinese medicine. China produces 7,000 kilos of bear bile a year, estimated to the equivalent of £1,771 a kilo.
The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has recently called for countries to close down bear bile farms and stop Black bears being held captive, it has urged China to cap the growth of the industry and have encouraged the governments of Korea and Vietnam to continue their efforts to eradicate bear farming, unfortunately the motions put forward by The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) are not legally enforceable but are a great step forward to highlight the issue of this cruel and intolerable industry.
The Black bears, or Moon bears as they are also known, have a natural threat to their numbers with the ever increasing loss of forest and natural habitat but the main threat is the commercial use of them for their bile which if continued will be unsustainable and cause the bears population to rapidly decline.
The bears have been observed banging their heads on the cage walls and even refusing to eat and starving themselves in an attempt to escape the torture. It is pure disgrace to use these vulnerable animals for commercial use especially when the remedies are not scientifically proven and even if it were, to torture these magnificent animals is totally unacceptable!