Largest B2B Site Bans Sales of Bear Bile Products and More

On Friday, Alibaba, the world’s largest business to business e-commerce site announced a ban on the sales of products containing bear bile, which will apply to and its sister site, a Chinese e-commerce site that runs within China.

Bear bile has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for hundreds of years and has resulted in thousands of bear farms in Asia where bears spend their lives in cages barely large enough for them to move in where they’re milked for their bile through a catheter, or a permanent hole in the abdomen that bile drips out of.

There are officially about 7,000 bear farms in China, but groups suspect the actual number to be higher. The World Society for the Protection of Animals estimates that approximately 12,000 bears are currently suffering on bear farms around Asia, with an estimated 16,000 left in the wild, who are considered an endangered species.

The active ingredient in bear bile, UDCA, can be synthetically created without the use of animals. Additionally, a report by the Chinese Association of Medicine and Philosophy and EarthCare has established that there are at least 54 herbal alternatives to bear bile, including Chinese ivy stem, dandelion, chrysanthemum, common sage and rhubarb. The alternatives are both cheap and effective, according to Animals Asia.

Since October 2000, over 40 bear farms have been closed down by the government and over 245 bears released into the care of Animals Asia’s Moon Bear Rescue Centre in Sichuan. The World Society for the Protection of Animals is working on a similar campaign to encourage Asian governments, practitioners and consumers to promote alternatives to bear bile.

Needless to say animal welfare groups and activists are excited about the potential impact of this ban, which also includes cat and dog meat and fur, and comes on the heels of Alibaba’s decision to ban ivory, shark fin and sea turtle sales last year. 


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Mary Walishko
mary Walishko6 years ago

South Korea is as bad and so is Vietnam to mention a few.

Kenneth L.
Kenneth L6 years ago

Good steps by this website company. China reveres panda bears and reviles moon bears. How nuts is that.

AnnMarie S.
AnnMarie S7 years ago

So sad we need more protection and people on the top to put an end this cruelty.

Papa M.
papa m8 years ago

I can not believe such thing really happe.. :((( so much cruel things happen in china...

Dianne H.
Past Member 8 years ago

Hello Everybody - On behalf of Moon Bears, thank you for raising the awareness of this horrific & brutal bear bile trade.

I have signed up to join a Sponsored charity Walk for Freedom to help Asia's Moon Bears which is hosted by Animals Asia - this Saturday September 11th 2010 here in London UK. Yes! it's tomorrow!

Thus I have Created a petition which is published - I am seeking sponsorship for my walk to raise funds to help rescue Bears and End Dog & Cat consumption.

There are a couple videos showing the rescue work by Animals Asia. Please invite your friends, family and relative to join my support in my mission to rescue Moon Bears from a Hellish existence.

Thanking all of you in advance for your understanding and support in this matter

Dianne & Moon Bears

Antoinette Reyes
Antoinette R8 years ago

the ending of the clip was a little graphic
i do not see how or why man kind has claimed themselves as ruler of all beings
sad .. truly sad

Duke Antifur Dog
Duke Antifur Dog8 years ago

As of today, June 3, 2010, Alibaba has NOT implemented a ban on dog or cat fur yet.

This is a company that sells car seats made with cat skin. I called them and confirmed (with audio recording) that they indeed use real cat fur. THey are located in Hebei province.

And here is dog skin available in huge quantities via Alibaba:Ƥ_n-y.html?x=0&y=0

ron b.
Marie burton8 years ago

Any products should be banned like these. Also Rhino horns etc. They are used to supposedly enhance men's sex life. They have got to be kidding. The only way it helps is because they get excited and then think its the rhino horn that does it. Alibab banning ivory and other products is wonderful, Keep up the good work.

Tammy Smith
T Zabel8 years ago

Thank god they have shut those bear farms down. What the heck is wrong with people?

valda p.
valda p8 years ago

Great news ,the firm Alibaba banning the use of bear bile,in time perhaps the chinese might realise as they can get the same results from another source ,there will be no demand for bile from the bears,they live a miserable existance,locked in small filthy cages with a drip attached to their bodies for years ,they also make soup out of their paws,there is a lady over there who works very hard to rescure them,I forgot her name ,she is very dedicated to helping the bears.