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Bear bile industry

There are thousands of bears being held captive in the bile industry across East and South East Asia, suffering in desperately cruel conditions right now.

They are confined so bile can be extracted from their gall bladders and sold for use in some Traditional Asian Medicines.

The inhumane methods used to extract bile causes severe pain and trauma to the bears, who occupy tiny cages. Their suffering is intense. See inside the bear farms >>

Bear farming is also a threat to vulnerable wild bear populations, especially in south-east Asia. WSPA investigations show that in some countries poachers are selling live bears to farms, and illegally exporting gall bladders and bear bile from farms.

WSPA believes bear farming is cruel, unnecessary and must end. Increasing numbers of Traditional Asian Medicine practitioners agree, and are turning to herbal and synthetic alternatives.

What is WSPA doing?

WSPA is working to protect wild bears and end bear farming, by:

  • Working in partnership with Asian governments – using research, education and diplomacy to work for an end to bear farming.

  • Calling for an end to the illegal trade in bear products. The WSPA bear proteins detection kit allows customs officials to stop illegal imports of bear bile and body parts.

  • Working with practitioners and consumers of Traditional Asian Medicine to promote the alternatives to bear bile.

Our approach is working. The Vietnamese government has committed to phasing out bear farms after reaching a Memorandum of Understanding with WSPA. New regulations, alongside WSPA’s program to microchip bears, help to prevent new bears from suffering this cruel practice.

South Korea has also demonstrated a commitment to end the cruel practice of bear bile farming and we are working with local partners to lobby for a captive breeding ban and to phase out the industry.

But there is so much more to do.

Help end bear farming in Asia

If you use Traditional Asian Medicine, make sure your practitioner does not use bear bile in any of their treatments. Raising awareness and encouraging the use of alternatives will help protect bears from this cruel industry.

A donation to WSPA will support our work to promote animal welfare worldwide.

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