In Vietnam, a historic agreement has just been signed to put an end to the bear bile farming. For decades animal activist has been campaigning against the bear exploitation, and today in Vietnam, bears are about to be free. An exemplary decision. The extraction technique consisting of introducing a permanent catheter into the gallbladder of the animal and pumping the fluid twice a day will not be practiced anymore. In the Chinese medicine, the bear’s bile (fluid secreted by the liver) is meant to have curative properties when in fact is very unhealthy as the bile is most of the time contaminated with bacterias, toxins, and even carcinogens. A belief that devoted these animals to a life of suffering and misery. One gram of dried bile can sell up to $200. A juicy business…The “bile farms” are still legal in China, where more than 10,000 animals are still exploited.
Although theoretically illegal in Vietnam since 1992, these practices were unfortunately still valid. Thanks to the mobilization of public opinion and NGOs like Animals Asia, the closure of these farms is now complete and definitive in the country. Mr. Cao Chi Cong, Deputy Director General of the Vietnamese Forestry Administration, under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Jill Robinson, the founder of Animals Asia. This memorandum follows the agreement between Animals Asia and the Vietnamese Association of Traditional Medicine signed in 2015 ensuring the end of prescription of “bear bile” by Chinese traditional medicine practitioners by 2020. An incredible success for the animal associations, which proof, once again, that popular mobilization can make a difference.