During today’s WSPA-GKU press conference at Seoul’s National Assembly, media, supporters and MPs heard about the ongoing cruelty, pain and psychological distress bears are subjected to so their bile can be used in traditional medicines.
MP Jang Hana, who is tabling The Special Bill for Farmed Bear Management, thanked WSPA and GKU for raising awareness about the issue during the event and is calling on fellow MPs to pass the law as soon as possible.
Today’s conference follows a growing wave of global concern about the cruelty of the bear bile industry – 160,000 people signed WSPA’s 2011 petition to help convince the South Korean Government to phase out the industry.
WSPA’s Regional Engagement Project Manager, Luke Nicholson who spoke at the press conference said:
“Today is another critical step towards ending the exploitation of bears in South Korea. Those people who stood up for bears by signing our petition will be thrilled to hear their voices are making a difference – without their continued support, this would not have been possible. I hope to have further good news in the weeks ahead!”
The Korean public, the Korean Bear Farmer’s Association, environmental and animal welfare organisations and the Ministry of Environment of Korea all want to see an end to the exploitation of bears.
A Hangil Research and Consulting report reveals that just 1.2 per cent of Koreans say they have purchased bear bile, while 89.5 per cent are against keeping bears in captivity and slaughtering them for their bile; and 85.4 per cent agree that it should be outlawed.
The Government is due to vote on MP Hana’s private member’s bill before the end of the month.