The bear bile these farms collect are sold in tablet form and liquid form people who believe in this traditional medicine claim the bile helps with a variety of ailments, including sore throats, gallstones, liver problems, and even poor eyesight. In 2005, shocked by how widespread bear farming had become, vietnam outlawed the extraction of bile while allowing farms to keep existing animals so they weren’t just slaughtered. Claws remain out over the cruelty of bear bile farming, despite a bid by an industry association connected with the practice to quell recent debate.
The asian black bear (ursus thibetanus, previously known as selenarctos thibetanus), also known as the moon bear and the white-chested bear, is a medium-sized bear species native to asia and largely adapted to arboreal life. Bear bile is prized in traditional chinese medicine for its alleged ability to relieve muscle aches, joint pains, fever, migraines and hangovers, as well as being a curative for impotence, gallstones, cirrhosis, even cancer. An association for traditional chinese medicine has lashed out against a report by a chinese think tank that suggests the practice of farming bears for their bile be stopped the china association of traditional chinese medicine (catcm), an organization affiliated with the state administration of traditional chinese medicine, claimed through an anonymous member that bear [.
Traditionally, bear bile was extracted from species in the wild, but when china’s bear population became endangered in the 1980s, the country’s bile farming practice emerged the moon bear, or asiatic brown bear, a critically endangered species, is the most commonly harvested species, though sun bears and brown bears are farmed as well. The nanning bear farm was built to produce bear bile for use in traditional chinese medicines flower world, a state-owned corporation, “invested around $13 million in the farm, which had yet to sell bile,” reported michael martina of reuters. In china and vietnam, an endangered species called the moon bear is farmed so that their bile may be extracted for use in eastern medicine to cure various ailments from headaches to hemorrhoids. Bear bile has been used in traditional chinese medicine (tcm) for thousands of years modern investigations showed that it has a wide range of pharmacological actions with little toxicological side effect and the pure compounds have been used for curing hepatic and biliary disorders for decades. The chinese herbal medicine: materia medica (1986) by dan bensky, andrew gamble, and ted kaptchuk lists bear bile as a remedy for trauma, sprains, fractures, hemorrhoids, conjunctivitis, severe hepatitis, high fever, convulsions, and delirium.
Although substitutes for bear bile exist, there is still a huge demand for the real thing because of the significant reduction in the population of wild asiatic black bears that has resulted, bear farming was introduced in china in 1984. Bear bile farms: chinese bear bile farms hold more than 10,000 bears whose bile is routinely extracted for use in traditional medicine via an invasive and painful process. Bear bile farming - china china was the first country to use bile and its storage organ, the gall bladder, as ingredients in traditional chinese medicine (tcm) bear bile was first recorded in tang ban cao (newly revised materia medica, tang dynasty, 659 ad) for thousands of years, the traditional way to acquire bear bile was to kill a.
About bear bile farming in china the bile from the gallbladders of bears (principally moon bears) has been used, along with other animal products, in traditional chinese medicine for centuries. Bear bile has been used in asian medicine for thousands of years the bitter yellow fluid is made in the liver, then stored in the gall bladder until it is released to help break down fats during. Sold directly to consumers on farms and in some traditional-medicine shops, a milliliter of this bile can fetch anywhere between $1 to $3—not quite liquid gold, but in a country where the. Bile bears, sometimes called battery bears, are bears kept in captivity to harvest their bile, a digestive fluid produced by the liver and stored in the gallbladder, which is used by some traditional chinese medicine practitioners it is estimated that 12,000 bears are farmed for bile in china, south korea, laos, vietnam, and myanmar the bear species most commonly farmed for bile is the. Bear bile is used in traditional chinese medicine and the black market trade is thriving it is believed that more than 7,000 bears are imprisoned in the farms across china.
Until about 30 years ago, the only way to acquire bear bile was by killing a wild animal and removing its gall bladder (itself a popular ingredient in chinese medicine. The bear bile industry targets mostly sun bears and asiatic black bears, also known as moon bears, which both get their names from the tuft of white hair on their chests. The death of a young actress who rejected chemotherapy in favor of traditional chinese medicine to treat her cancer has prompted a national debate scrutinizing the merits of chinese medicine. More than 10,000 bears are kept on bile farms in china, and official figures put the number suffering the same fate in vietnam at about 1,000 the bears have their bile extracted on a regular basis, for use not only in traditional medicine, but also in many ordinary household products.
Megan mccubbin travels to vietnam to explore the bear farms and traditional medicine shops that are farming bears in cages and fuelling an illegal bear bile market. Bear bile farming is an alarming practice taking place in china, whereby asiatic black bears are captured and used to provide bile from their gall bladders the bile is an found in popular ancient chinese medicine. World society for the protection of animals —— traditional medicine and bear bile for animal welfare reasons alone, wspa believes that the practice of bear farming should be phased out completely. Sadly, in other countries, bear bile farming is an even larger industry in china, where most of the demand for bear bile lies and where bile farming is still legal , at least 10,000 bears suffer at bile farms.