Animal
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Animal
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Newsletter - Animal Writes sm
27 August 2000 Issue

"COLLECTING BILE FROM LIVE BEARS HAS BEEN BANNED BY THE CHINESE GOVERNMENT..." - NOT TRUE
Submitted by Jonathan Owen, jonathanowen@wspa.org.uk

...Unfortunately, the above statement from a recently circulating
article is completely untrue...

You may have heard of the agreement that Animals Asia Foundation (AAF) has arranged with the authorities in the Sichuan Province, China. This agreement will allow AAF to re-home 500 bears from the worst bear farms, when these farms are closed during the next 2-5 years. This is good news for these bears.

However, WSPA's investigations of the Chinese bear bile farms in 1999 and 2000, has revealed that several of the large bear bile farms have expansion plans. One farm, in particular, had 800 bears in February 2000 and plans to have 1000 bears by the end of 2000. Therefore, China has no intention of bringing an end to this industry.

Currently, there is an international ban on the trade in bear parts and products (including bile). However, China has a surplus of bear bile. Much of this bile is being used in inessential products such as bear wine and tonics. At some stage in the future China may try to obtain legal international trade for this product. Dr Fan Zhiyong, the official in charge of the Chinese CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) Management Authority, has stated that China would like to export bear bile to consumers in Japan, Korea and other countries.

Therefore, the reality of the Chinese bear farming industry is not good. We need to maintain pressure on China to prevent them gaining legal international trade in bear bile and other products, and to totally end the bear farming industry in China.

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