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|Originally Posted: 9 November 2009|
Convince the Vietnamese Government to Save Bears
From Animals Asia
Send letters to convince the Vietnamese government to enforce the law and release these bears into the care of Animals Asia. Some of the bears have been living in cages no bigger than their bodies and had their gall bladders drained daily for up to 20 years.
INFORMATION / TALKING POINTS
[Also read Vietnam Officials Raid Ha Long Bay Bear Bile Farm.]
I would like to congratulate the Vietnamese Government on your endeavors to help Vietnam's endangered species of Asiatic black bear, and for working in partnership with Animals Asia Foundation to close down bear farms across Vietnam and confiscate illegally-held bears.
In September 2007, 80 illegally-held bears were identified on farms in Quang Ninh Province. Under Vietnamese law they should be confiscated and transferred into the care of a suitable bear rescue centre, such as the one established by the Central Forest Protection Department and Animals Asia Foundation in Tam Dao National Park.
I am concerned to hear that so far only one of these 80 bears has been confiscated and the other 79 are still being held illegally on these farms. I also understand that these farms continue to extract bear bile illegally and sell the bile to overseas tourists, which is a clear contravention of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) of which Vietnam has been a signatory since 1994. Illegal bear bile extraction was captured by Vietnam TV1 and shown on national TV in early June 2009.
The Vietnam Bear Rescue Centre in Tam Dao National Park has the capacity to receive the 79 bears and Animals Asia has signed an agreement to look after these bears, on behalf of the Vietnamese Government, for the rest of their natural lives. Animals Asia has committed staff and funds and is prepared to take full responsibility for the bears’ veterinary treatment and ongoing management. The Vietnam rescue centre has taken in 29 bears to date and it is ready to take the 79 bears from these farms.
I understand the Central Forest Protection Department in Hanoi has been enormously helpful in encouraging the confiscation of these bears and working with Animals Asia in the construction of the sanctuary which has been developed to hold at least 200 confiscated bears.
Following widespread international publicity of the plight of these 79 bears, all of whom are clearly held in violation of the laws of your country, I write to ask that you order they be confiscated and transferred into the care of Animals Asia’s Moon Bear Rescue Centre in Tam Dao National Park.
Thank you for everything you do for animals!