Bear bile extraction farming has been used in traditional Asian medicine for thousands of years. Known to treat liver and gall bladder conditions because the bear’s bile contains high levels of ursodeoxycholic acid, in modern times both herbal and synthetic alternatives provide the same medicinal properties. Tragically, modern science has had no beneficial effects for female moon bear “Hai Chan.” For the last ten years, she has barely existed in the tiny, rusty cage barely bigger than her body. She lacks even the most basic care.
Hai Chan is believed to be one of more than 12,000 bears kept on bear bile farms in China and Vietnam. Still legal in China but outlawed in Vietnam, unfortunately legal loopholes still exist for the 1,300 bears kept as prisoners. In these cages where the bears are starved allegedly for better bile production, the excruciating painful extraction methods range from “free drip” where the bears endures holes in their gall bladder to permanent catheters rarely cleaned and too often causing life-threatening infections.
According to Four Paws International, a non-profit organization based in Vienna, Austria, who provide for animals globally, Hai Chan’s front paws were removed years ago; the meat from her paws used in the so-called “bear paw wine” production.
“Like many other bears, Hai Chan lives mutilated in her tiny, rusty cage, lacking even the most basic care. It seems that she has even given up on her life already. We can’t say how much longer Hai Chan will survive, but we have joined forces with local partners Education for Nature – Vietnam (ENV) and World Animal Protection to form a coalition to expedite an end to cruel bear farming and hopefully help bears, like Hai Chan soon,” states the organization on their Facebook page.
Four Paws International is currently in the process of building a sanctuary large enough to accommodate the rescue of bears in horrific situations just like Hai Chan:
“Hai Chan’s home is a rusty cage which is not much bigger than her own body. The impression of her desperately lying in her cage broke our hearts when we first met her and it still does. We are currently constructing a new state-of-the-art sanctuary for up to 100 former bile bears in Vietnam and hope to begin rescuing the most desperate bears like Hai Chan this summer.”
Sign the petition to help end bear farming in Vietnam.
(Photos via Four Paws International)
Watch Hai Chan’s video here and help to end this brutal practice: