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Nov 15, 2006
Focus: Animal Welfare
Action Request: Think About
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AAF rescues 12 more Moon Bears, but it’s too late for two

 
3 bears waiting to be offloaded Jill Robinson with blind bear
 
Animals Asia Foundation (AAF) rescued 12 more Moon Bears, bringing to 217 the total number of bears saved from a life of torture on cruel bile farms in China.

But two of the emaciated bears brought to AAF’s rescue centre in Chengdu, Sichuan Province, were in such poor condition that they did not even live past their emergency health checks.

AAF founder and CEO, Jill Robinson, said today 9th November 2006, that these two bears had not died in vain. “They have left behind a legacy of vital information, which will bring this industry down,” she said.

Robinson, who has witnessed countless cases of severe animal cruelty over the years, said she was shocked by the condition of the 12 bears when they arrived at the sanctuary. “All were in impossibly small cages, all skeletal, wounded in various ways, and terrified of what would happen in this next stage of their lives,” she said.

“Two are blind, some missing limbs, some with shattered teeth, some with worn and scarred heads and bodies from bar-rubbing, and all out of their minds with fear. Most had open wounds in their abdomens from the free-drip method of bile-extraction, with some leaking bile and pus,” Robinson said.

In July 2000, AAF signed a landmark agreement with the Sichuan authorities to rescue 500 bears in the province, to work towards the elimination of bear farming in China and to promote the herbal alternatives to bear bile.

The farmers are compensated financially so they can either retire or set up in another business. Their licences are taken away permanently.

But many support the lucrative bear bile trade, claiming that a new catheter-free, free-drip method of bile extraction – involving the creation of a permanent hole in the abdomen – is painless for the bears and that the industry, therefore, is now “humane”.

Robinson, however, says the latest batch of tormented, disfigured bears provides further proof that the trade is as brutal as ever.

“We are still seeing young bears, with legs severed in leghold traps, that are clearly much younger than 17 years old – the cut-off point from when trapping bears in the wild was made illegal in China in 1989.”

Robinson said rake-thin “Twiglet”, one of the two bears that died shortly after his arrival at the rescue centre, weighed just 40 per cent of what a healthy male Moon Bear should weigh.

“We guess that, as often happens, because his free-drip wound had healed over, he had proved useless on the farm and the farmer had simply stopped feeding him, leaving him to starve to death,” she said. “His death from a combination of heart and renal failure, and our old enemy - septicemia - would have been agonising in the last lonely weeks of his life.”

“Message”, the other bear that died shortly after her rescue, succumbed to liver cancer as have 10 other rescued bears before her. Liver cancer is rare in bears that have not been tapped for their bile.

“A portmortem by AAF vets revealed pus in her bile – and this is the bile that people are paying to consume. We can see what it is doing to the bears – what must it be doing to humans?” Robinson said.

Consumers in China, Japan and Korea have the highest demand for bear bile. Bear parts, bile powder and bile products are also found in Australia, Taiwan, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, the US and Canada. It is illegal for bear products to be exported from China, but the black market trade is thriving. The bile is used in traditional medicine for a range of complaints including fever, liver disease and sore eyes. Synthetic and herbal alternatives are readily available.

Twelve months ago, the European Parliament in Brussels launched a campaign to urge the Chinese government to end bear farming by 2008 when Beijing will host the “Green” Olympics.

More than 7,000 bears are still trapped in farms throughout China. Some have been incarcerated for more than 20 years.

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Posted: Nov 15, 2006 1:25am
Nov 15, 2006
 
AAF Home | Latest News | Email This Page | Contact Us

Press Releases Watch Video Press & TV China Press AAF Films Radio
AAF Media Centre
Press Releases 2006 |2005 |2004 |2003 |2002 |2001 |2000  

|||

AAF rescues 12 more Moon Bears, but it’s too late for two

 
3 bears waiting to be offloaded Jill Robinson with blind bear
 
Animals Asia Foundation (AAF) rescued 12 more Moon Bears, bringing to 217 the total number of bears saved from a life of torture on cruel bile farms in China.

But two of the emaciated bears brought to AAF’s rescue centre in Chengdu, Sichuan Province, were in such poor condition that they did not even live past their emergency health checks.

AAF founder and CEO, Jill Robinson, said today 9th November 2006, that these two bears had not died in vain. “They have left behind a legacy of vital information, which will bring this industry down,” she said.

Robinson, who has witnessed countless cases of severe animal cruelty over the years, said she was shocked by the condition of the 12 bears when they arrived at the sanctuary. “All were in impossibly small cages, all skeletal, wounded in various ways, and terrified of what would happen in this next stage of their lives,” she said.

“Two are blind, some missing limbs, some with shattered teeth, some with worn and scarred heads and bodies from bar-rubbing, and all out of their minds with fear. Most had open wounds in their abdomens from the free-drip method of bile-extraction, with some leaking bile and pus,” Robinson said.

In July 2000, AAF signed a landmark agreement with the Sichuan authorities to rescue 500 bears in the province, to work towards the elimination of bear farming in China and to promote the herbal alternatives to bear bile.

The farmers are compensated financially so they can either retire or set up in another business. Their licences are taken away permanently.

But many support the lucrative bear bile trade, claiming that a new catheter-free, free-drip method of bile extraction – involving the creation of a permanent hole in the abdomen – is painless for the bears and that the industry, therefore, is now “humane”.

Robinson, however, says the latest batch of tormented, disfigured bears provides further proof that the trade is as brutal as ever.

“We are still seeing young bears, with legs severed in leghold traps, that are clearly much younger than 17 years old – the cut-off point from when trapping bears in the wild was made illegal in China in 1989.”

Robinson said rake-thin “Twiglet”, one of the two bears that died shortly after his arrival at the rescue centre, weighed just 40 per cent of what a healthy male Moon Bear should weigh.

“We guess that, as often happens, because his free-drip wound had healed over, he had proved useless on the farm and the farmer had simply stopped feeding him, leaving him to starve to death,” she said. “His death from a combination of heart and renal failure, and our old enemy - septicemia - would have been agonising in the last lonely weeks of his life.”

“Message”, the other bear that died shortly after her rescue, succumbed to liver cancer as have 10 other rescued bears before her. Liver cancer is rare in bears that have not been tapped for their bile.

“A portmortem by AAF vets revealed pus in her bile – and this is the bile that people are paying to consume. We can see what it is doing to the bears – what must it be doing to humans?” Robinson said.

Consumers in China, Japan and Korea have the highest demand for bear bile. Bear parts, bile powder and bile products are also found in Australia, Taiwan, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, the US and Canada. It is illegal for bear products to be exported from China, but the black market trade is thriving. The bile is used in traditional medicine for a range of complaints including fever, liver disease and sore eyes. Synthetic and herbal alternatives are readily available.

Twelve months ago, the European Parliament in Brussels launched a campaign to urge the Chinese government to end bear farming by 2008 when Beijing will host the “Green” Olympics.

More than 7,000 bears are still trapped in farms throughout China. Some have been incarcerated for more than 20 years.

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Posted: Nov 15, 2006 1:22am

 

 
 
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colleen o.
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