B.C. Man Arrested for Smuggling Bear Paws


Security personnel at the Vancouver airport discovered a grisly cache when they scanned a B.C. man’s carry-on luggage. The 39-year-old man had tucked three foil-wrapped, black bear paws into his case for his flight to China.

According to the Vancouver Sun, the Canadian Border Service Agency detained him and called the RCMP, who turned the case over to B.C. Conservation. The man was released until his court appearance on October 6th.

If convicted, the man faces a maximum of a two-year sentence and $250,000 fine under the B.C. Wildlife Act. Additional penalties of up to six months and a $25,000 fine can be applied under the federal Wild Animal and Protection and Regulation of International and Interprovincial Trade Act.

In spite of crackdowns on illegal trade, bear paws continue to be in demand as a high-priced culinary delicacy and an ingredient in traditional medicine in China. According to the Great Bear Foundation, in the past 25 years of law enforcement, “The paws or gall bladders from scores of both black bears and grizzlies removed from the bodies of both adults and cubs were seized. The paws are used for bear paw soup, which is a highly prized Asian delicacy. One bowl of it may cost the patron one thousand dollars or more. Some connoisseurs believe the flesh of the right paw actually tastes sweeter, since they believe that bears favour using their right forepaw to scoop out honey from the hive with it, and then lick the sweet liquid off the pads.”

As long as there is a market for bear parts, the trade will continue. In addition to the poaching of wild bears, thousands are “farmed” for their bile and then, when they no longer produce enough, are slaughtered for their parts.

Sign the petition below to call on China to keep the Gui Zhen Tang Pharmaceutical Corporation, which farms bears for their bile, from inclusion on the Shenzhen Stock Exchange.

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Photo courtesy of U.S. Forest Service Region 5


William C
William C2 years ago

Thank you.

W. C
W. C2 years ago


Duane B.
.5 years ago

Thank you for sharing.

Georgia Armstrong
Georgia a6 years ago

First of all, he most likely won't serve the full two years he was sentenced to. Shame on the legal system for that. Bears need lawyers. Secondly, when is China going to come into the 21st century and accept that bear claws and bile along with tiger parts aren't going to make them more potent in the sack or make them live longer or make them better looking. There are actually pills on the market that have been proven to work for those things now and I pray news of it reaches the Orient in this century. Perhaps they'll even stop sawing the horns off the last of the rhinos and butchering elephants for their tusks then. Anyone who mistreats or slaughters animals just makes me ill.

Gail Clark
Gail Clark6 years ago

So glad to know that animal activism is growing in China. Unfortunately not quickly enough. As long as there are wealthy idiots who would eat their own mothers in soup we have a continuing problem.

Deirdre B.
Deirdre Boyne6 years ago

Those poor bears

Leslie C.
Leslie Cochrane6 years ago

There must be a place in hell for these people.

Waltraud U.
Waltraud U7 years ago

UHH so greedily for money stops from nothing.

JACQUI GLYDE7 years ago

I know what I'd like to do with these people!
They Disgust Me.

carol k.
carol k7 years ago

figures " CHINA" AGAIN! I hate China