Great work by Animals Asia charity on bear bile trade

Roger Salmon

Roger Salmon

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Animals Asia is a charity which promotes compassion and respect for all animals and in particular works to end the barbaric bear bile trade which sees more than 10,000 bears kept on bile farms in China.

The trade sees bears imprisoned and abused in cages for the collection of their bile to be used in traditional Chinese medicine.

Bile is extracted using various painful, invasive techniques, all of which cause infection in the bears. Most bears are kept permanently in cages, sometimes so small they are unable to turn around or stand on all fours. Some bears are caged as cubs and never released with many kept caged for up to 30 years. In April 2014 there was incredible, wonderful news that a bear bile farmer, who had been pressurised by his daughter to stop farming the bears, had approached Animals Asia and asked for its help.

This was an unprecedented act by a Chinese bear bile farmer and testimony to the influence Animals Asia is having on attitudes to the hideous practice. He ran a farm on which he kept, for breeding and bile extraction, 130 Asiatic black bears. Animals Asia rescued the bears from their ghastly existence by converting it into a bear sanctuary.

The bears life has improved immeasurably as they now receive free access to water and are fed quality fresh fruit, vegetables and dog biscuits whereas before they received a small measure of corn gruel leading to near starvation and severe internal parasite infection.

With sawn off canine teeth and festering root abscesses, stumpy, declawed paws, cracked pads and purulent draining abdominal sinuses from repeated conscious bile extraction, these creatures are awesome in their stoicism.

The success achieved by Animals Asia is enormous. It has deeply engaged with society in China, stimulating the development of animal welfare groups set up by Chinese citizens. The rescue and rehabilitation of these wonderful creatures and the massive changes required on the farm relies on global public funding. You can help in many ways from sponsoring a bear to holding your own fundraiser by contacting www.animalsasia.org