Asiatic black bears, also called moon bears, are being slowly tortured, maimed and killed for the bile their bodies produce. Moon bears have a distinctive cream-colored crescent displayed on their black furry chest.The bad news for the bears is they are the only mammal to produce large amounts of bile. Bear bile is a prized ingredient of traditional Chinese medicine practiced for 3,000 years.
In light of the horrendous way the Chinese government treats its own citizens, it is still a shock to find human beings willing to mistreat defenseless animals for profit. Bear farming is legal in China. Moon bears remain imprisoned their entire life, inside rusty cages they barely fit into. This intelligent, naturally curious, wild animal is made to lie flat, withstanding years of agony.
The bear farmers are not veterinarians; these are unskilled workers performing surgery. The untrained farmers insert metal catheters into the bear’s gall bladder through its stomach. This is not a one time operation. For the rest of the bear’s natural life, he will remain a milking machine. The bears must suffer the punishment of their gall bladder being drained and milked twice a day, for as long as they live.
The Chinese prescribe bear bile for many ailments from liver complaints to sore eyes. There is no evidence of there EVER being any therapeutic power for humans in bear bile. A synthetic form of bear bile has been available for decades. It is as effective, more accessible, and cheaper to make than the bile taken from the bears. Herbal remedies are also widely available.
Chinese bear farming produced a surplus of bear bile for medicinal purposes, but that hasn’t stopped production. Bear bile is also used in beauty products, [gag] food, and beverages.
The wound in the bear’s abdomen that bile collecting causes can become infected. Hot pieces of metal are used to sear the hole open. When a bear struggles from the pain and mistreatment, his teeth are knocked out and his paws cut off. Bear paw is considered a delicacy in Asian cuisine.
China outlawed poaching native bears in the 1980’s. Bear farming evolved from their asinine concept of conservation. Bears were becoming endangered from hunters selling their body parts. The Chinese believe they are doing a service to the bears by keeping them penned. The bears lives are ‘protected’ as long as it remains valuable for the Chinese.
Any animal lover or person with a heart knows animals have long memories. Animals do feel pain, loss and fear. Eye-Witnesses reports say the bears moan and bang their head on the cages in pain from the continual ill treatment they suffer. I sincerely hope someday we don’t find ourselves at the mercy of the animals, if any are left on the planet.
There are over 200 bear bile farms in China, holding more than 7,000 Moon Bears. Researchers believe more than 5,000 bears are kept on bear farms in Vietnam, and South Korea. There are an estimated 25,000 Moon Bears left in the wild worldwide.
The World Society for the Protection of Animals has devised a kit that will detect the presence of bear tissue in medicines and other consumer goods. ‘Test results have shown positive for bear meat, blood, dried and fresh galls, teeth, bones, skin, and fur detected in Chinese medicines and other products.’
Moon bears are a cousin to the American black bear. Native Americans claim bears are ‘the keepers of dreams.’ Let’s do all we can to end this nightmare for the bears.