Moon Bears - confined to a living hell...

The Moon Bears are imprisoned in 'coffin' sized cages all their lives.  That is 24 hours per day, 365 days per year.  Stacks of them, lines of them, factory style.  They cannot turn around, they cannot display natural behaviours. They are literally hemmed in and STUCK within the bars that confine them.  PLEASE see this WSPA page:

The point of this abuse is to give hassle-free access to the bear for the purpose of continual bile harvesting.  They have a deep incision made in their stomachs to give access to the GALL BLADDER which is 'milked' 3 to 4 times per day for the bile.  These wounds are kept open, never heal and are interfered with each time the bear is 'milked' - plus are often infected. 

This inhumane practice, used to extract the bile, causes severe pain and trauma to the bears.  The original operational procedure and subsequent interference is all done without anesthetic and without painkillers and without veterinary knowledge and subsequent opening of the wound is extremely distressing for the bears.

If those bears subjected to operations do not die during or after the first procedure, they suffer from serious health problems.  Infections to the open wounds, tumours, internal abscesses, gallstones, and other related illnesses are common.  It is a life of unremitting pain and distress.

This is for Chinese/Asian medicine.  To provide naive people with something they believe is vital for their wellbeing.  Something to do with calming stomach or kidney problems etc. etc???   However, due to supply and demand it's also now being introduced into less therapeutic products like shampoo and wine amongst others...

The situation is absolutely appalling and keeps me awake at night thinking about these poor miserable creatures who display deteriorating mental health by frustrative repetitive behaviour like banging their heads against the bars (they have a tiny bit of movement), which eventually wears away their skin right to the bone and cartilage on their noses.  This suffering can last many years, although a lot of bears develop cancer and die after five.

Whoever thought up this HELL to make MORE money out of the industry, needs a long stretch in a similar confined situation to fully appreciate what they have done and ARE doing to these beautiful innocent creatures.  They USED to kill the bear for the prize of the gall bladder.  HEAVEN for the bear considering what they do to them nowadays...

This all began in the 1980s when some 'clever' person thought of a way of increasing bile production from one bear; instead of killing them, confine them permanently to iron bars to 'milk' them - that way, you get more for your money!  Have you ever heard of anything quite so disgusting and barbaric and backward?  The people who 'staff' these factories must have hearts of stone... to watch a living creature permanently suffer... 

It's about time
the Chinese and Vietnamese and other Asian governments woke up and faced what they are allowing and change things - they actually licence these 'farms'!!  I, and many other westerners who feel the same, cannot ever visit countries where this type of merciless cruelty exists - if they want to become part of OUR capitalist and FREE world they will have to change their attitude to many things; human rights and animals in particular (who are at the mercy of humans and obviously cannot speak for themselves).

I mean, the Chinese place SOOOOO much importance on the Panda Bear breeding programmes.... Ooooooh, ahhhhhhh.... aren't they cute?  Which yes of course they are.  Yet the Moon Bears in the same breath are treated so abysmally at the absolute opposite end of the spectrum. 

Everybody who has an ounce of intelligence knows that what they 'milk' from these poor creatures can be 'made' by humans these days (if you actually need to rely on 'extras' to your diet).  Herbal and synthetic alternatives exist.  So there is absolutely NO excuse.  Naivety can no longer be used as a scapegoat.

Please join the WSPA
who are trying hard to eradicate this practice - their website shows more details.  I went on a trek through the Romanian mountains with them to raise several thousand pounds for the cause.  If you can, also lobby these Asian governments and the places which sell the STUFF - which by the way is illegal in most countries and if discovered should be reported to the police.
Dear Sirs

We, the undersigned, respect other creatures which co-exist on our planet.

Could you please advise us what the situation is regarding bear bile farming in China, Vietnam, Pakistan and other Asian countries?

You will know that Vietnam announced their intentions in 2005 to phase out bear farming.  Can you please tell me how this is going and when you will actually bring this abhorrent practice to an end?

Further, have the 80 illegally held Asiatic Black Bears been released into sanctuary yet?  The Principal government of Quang Ninh was hesitating earlier this year to confiscate them from bear farms.  This clearly goes against Vietnam new government regulations, the Memorandum of Understanding with WSPA and the government itself committing to phase out bear farms.

I cannot bear to think of these distressed, miserable creatures in crippling, agonizing pain, not just from the constant open wound and the gruesome bile extraction process they have to endure up to three times a day, but from the shockingly cruel practice of permanently confining them to an iron barred 'coffin'.  My heart cries out for these gentle, majestic and defenceless creatures and for them to be released into freedom where they belong.  

I can only ask you to please imagine yourself locked in such a coffin, little bigger than yourself, where you are kept ALL of your life.  Denied any freedom to express natural behaviour and constricted to the point of being unable to make simple body movements - you would be better off dead.   This never ending mental and physical frustration and suffering would be total and utter torture, and is now, as I write, for these bears.

As you will know, there are alternatives to bear bile in the 21st century.  I and the majority of intelligent western people cannot understand why others would want to consume something that has been produced through sheer pain and misery, when there are substitutes.  To witness and be the cause of distressed animals in acute pain is just sadistic, the mark of a society bereft of compassion and the practice should be brought to a rapid end.

I am well-travelled and had at one point wanted to visit China, Vietnam and Pakistan - I am sure there is a great wealth of history and much to see.  However I, and many other westerners, cannot ever visit countries where this type of cruelty exists and Asian governments are not only fully aware of it, but sanction it by granting licences to the bear farms.  How can this occur in a modern 21st century world?  This distressing, inhuman and barbaric practice is totally unnecessary, and the continuance of it is wholly unacceptable.

I do hope you can give me and my fellow animal welfare supporters a glimmer of hope on behalf of these pitiful bears.

Many thanks
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