Bear bile farms

MIST

Proud Member
Joined
Jul 25, 2011
Messages
5,183
Points
63
“She’d come to think the pain from her rotten teeth was normal”
25 February 2016

For bears rescued from bile farms – extensive vet care is usually required for their poor damaged teeth.
It’s not uncommon for bears to literally try to chew their way out of cages – in Sam’s case it was also poor diet and a lack of care that meant many of her teeth had all but rotted away.
Sam was rescued alongside fellow moon bear Simon - from a small island just off Vietnam’s Halong Bay. While Simon passed away a few months later, vets were confident that Sam would finally make it out into the sunlight. However, to make that big step out into the sunshine – she also needed extensive veterinary care.

During a recent health check – staff found that her spine was so badly curved that she couldn’t lie straight down on the exam table. Stacked towels had to support her lower half so she wouldn’t wake up from her health check with back pain.
While she was under anaesthetic – an Animals Asia vet removed six of her molars, further taking away the pain that she must have lived with for many years.

Also of concern was Sam’s vision which was worse than had been thought. She’s almost completely blind in her right eye. Later this year, when an eye specialist comes to visit the Vietnam sanctuary, she’ll check Sam and see if any restorative surgery is possible.
While Sam healed she was fed a diet of blended food as well as antibiotics and pain medication. She’s also set for a follow-up check to be scheduled in four-to-six weeks to see how her gums are healing, and to assess two more molars that may need extractions.

Animals Asia Senior Vet Mandala Hunter-Ishikawa said:
“It’s very lucky we saw Sam when we did – her diseased teeth must have been causing her a lot of pain. It hurts to think of how much pain she’s experienced in her life. She’d initially shown little sign of it and had probably come to think that the pain from her rotten teeth was normal.
“Thankfully, her liver and gall bladder look comparatively healthy, and she is finally beginning to adjust to her new life at the sanctuary. It’s been so hard for her – but what’s ahead for her is the life she has always deserved to live.”
There remain over 1,200 bears caged and farmed for their bile in Vietnam. There are over 10,000 more in China where bear bile farming remains legal.
Bear bile is used in traditional medicine.

[video=youtube;7Jvmc9S4wTE]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Jvmc9S4wTE[/video]

R.I.P. Simon
I wish you a good life Sam
 

MIST

Proud Member
Joined
Jul 25, 2011
Messages
5,183
Points
63
Vietnamese bear bile farmers shocked when confronted with “bear necessities”
01 June 2016

Animals Asia met with a Vietnamese town’s bear bile farmers and outlined what bears need to be fit, healthy and happy - the “bear necessities” they don’t receive on bile farms.
The event was part of a major grassroots campaign by Animals Asia in Phuong Thuong Commune, an hour from central Hanoi. Despite being a relatively small town, Phuong Thuong is believed to account for almost 20% of all remaining bears caged by the bear bile industry in Vietnam. The farmers continue to utilise loopholes in order to extract and sell bear bile. The majority of the 35 remaining bile farmers attended the event.

Animals Asia partnered with the Head of Hanoi’s Forestry Protection Department, Le Minh Tuyen, to raise awareness of the law and the illegality of their trade at the event at the local People’s Committee Hall.
But it was Animals Asia’s Vietnam Director Tuan Bendixsen’s 15-minute presentation on how Animals Asia rescues and takes care of bears that caused the greatest stir. In particular the profiling of the “enrichment” enjoyed by the bears cared for at Animals Asia's sanctuary. This includes the various daily items that effectively make bears’ lives worth living - from leaves and branches for playing and nesting, to daily treats, toys and an ever-changing diet.

Caged farm bears meanwhile often have no room to move, eat the same meal everyday and frequently don’t even have water to drink despite temperatures reaching as high as 40 degrees Celsius.

Tuan explained:
“Whatever animal exploitation you can think of, there will always be those who choose to defend it. It’s not so much about a lack of conscience as a lack of voice to counter everything they have been told by other farmers - as well as everything they perhaps have told themselves.
“The truth is, of course, bears suffer terribly on bile farms.
Extraction does horrific damage.
The limited space physically and mentally damages the bears.
This lack of ‘enrichment’ profoundly damages their mental wellbeing as a result of being beyond bored.
This is before we even start talking about all the vet care they need.

“There was visible shock and incredulity when we contrasted what we give the bears and what bile farmers denied them. It was clear that, in many cases, the needs of the bears had never even been considered.
“But this was not about attacking bear farmers. There is no point taking an aggressive stance. This was simply about bears. Beyond that it was a reminder that bile farming is criminal and that it is not an industry with a future. Increased authority pressure and a diminishing market will ensure that.”

https://www.animalsasia.org/intl/me...ed-when-confronted-with-bear-necessities.html

I hope at least some of the farmers begin to consider how the bears are treated and give them up.
I think this is the right way to go, with information , no anger.
 

MIST

Proud Member
Joined
Jul 25, 2011
Messages
5,183
Points
63
None of them should be there, they should be with their mothers in the wild.
Both of them have seen their mothers have been killed it takes some time to heal after that.
At least they were saved before they were sold to a bearbilefarm.

[video=youtube;EpaafkWLnsM]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EpaafkWLnsM[/video]
They can´t go back to the wild so they have to make their lives as good as possible at the sanctuary.
It´s not only food and vet care needed, bears need to have fun too.
 

MIST

Proud Member
Joined
Jul 25, 2011
Messages
5,183
Points
63
BREAKING NEWS: over a decade caged - moon bear Bao Lam’s rescue is happening right now
02 August 2016


Caged since he was a cub - today Bao Lam starts a 1,500km journey to freedom with Animals Asia - you can follow it live.

For the past seven years this has been Bao Lam's home - a small corner of a sizeable resort in Lam Dong Province, Vietnam. His previous owner was in Ho Chi Minh City - it's possible that he was also tapped for bile during that time.

He was microchipped and registered by the authorities in 2005 and it's likely that he was caged for years before that.

Since 2009 this is how he has lived. No direct sunlight, nowhere to climb or nest, no other bears to interact with. In addition, inadequate diet and limited vet care also means that we cannot be sure of the health of the bear.

There are over 1,200 bears kept in small cages in Vietnam – many of these in bile farm cages with others kept as exotic pets or for performance - but for Bao Lam it ends today.

This morning a rescue team from Animals Asia arrived in Lam Dong province and will remove him from his prison. He will then be transported 1,500kms to his sanctuary, Animals Asia's Vietnam Bear Rescue Centre (VBRC), in Tam Dao National Park.

There he will start his quarantine and rehabilitation ahead of a move into an outdoor enclosure with a community of rescued moon bears. Animals Asia has rescued almost 600 bears, the vast majority from bile farms or animal traffickers, in Vietnam and China.

VBRC continues to care for nearly 150 bears. It is anticipated that Bao Lam will arrive in Tam Dao on Friday.

The bear's rescue is thanks to the zoo owners' decision to voluntarily hand over the bear. The bear's name "Bao Lam" was given to the bear by External Affairs Officer and veteran rescue logistics "fixer" Ung Toan The. The name - derived from the local area Bao Loc, Lam Dong - also means protect the forest in Vietnamese.

Animals Asia Vietnam director Tuan Bendixsen is with the rescue and said today:

"Obviously the conditions Bao Lam has faced for so long are shocking to us. However we welcome the decision to hand over this beautiful bear into our care. It is only because of the work we do advocating for bears that people know there can be a better life for these animals.

"Beyond the years Bao Lam has spent at this tourist attraction we know very little. Until we can give him a full examination we can't be sure whether he has ever been farmed for bile. But we do know that after so long living this way - it is likely he will need a great deal of veterinary assistance. We hope, however, that Bao Lam can now enjoy many years of living in the sunshine.

"He will be moved into a transport cage for the 1,500km trip and during that time he'll be given the best diet he's ever enjoyed as well as luxuries he's never known before - including leaves to play and nest with. But, of course, the best will come for Bao Lam after his arrival in Tam Dao."
They have already started the trip but it´ll take time, about 20 hours to drive before they are home

Here´s a timeline
https://www.animalsasia.org/intl/media/news/news-archive/follow-bao-lams-rescue-live.html
 

MIST

Proud Member
Joined
Jul 25, 2011
Messages
5,183
Points
63
Rescued Bao Lams story
In total - 11 bears were purchased between 2008 and 2009 by Dambri Resort in Lam Dong Province in Vietnam. The owners had a plan to set up a zoo and teach the bears to dance in a circus.

But when the plans changed - the bears were instead banished to a corner of the lush and spacious resort where they were caged in shocking conditions. Due to their lack of care they started dying, soon only Bao Lam was left.
It’s likely that she has been caged since she was a cub - long before her sale to Dambri Resort.

Little is known about the wider plans for the zoo. It’s believed that other animals also died and others were transferred. It’s also not known how long Bao Lam has been alone.


Animals Asia Vietnam Director Tuan Bendixsen said:

“We have to believe that this is a story and an act of cruelty that belongs in the past. And we do believe that Vietnam is changing. We must believe that animal life is worth more now and that attitudes are changing fast.

“There can be no excuse for what happened to these animals and no excuse for the poor care of these bears except a lack of education. It is our privilege to rescue Bao Lam and to give her the life she deserves but we mourn those bears that died and the 1,200 bears still caged in Vietnam.

“But there is progress. The authorities are intent on cleaning up and removing this cruelty from Vietnam. Working with them, we are providing education on alternatives to bear bile and the importance of wider animal welfare - including advocating against animal performance and for better zoo conditions.

“Animal’s lives should be worth more than their monetary value. This is Vietnam’s natural heritage, these bears should not have been bought and sold on a whim. And they shouldn’t have died. Bao Lam has hung on for her rescuers and we arrived just in time.”

It reminds me of tigers in a circus in another part of the world, they were 10 from the beginning but only one had survived when the rescue came.
 

MIST

Proud Member
Joined
Jul 25, 2011
Messages
5,183
Points
63
Young bear rescued after she tried to chew through her paw to escape trap

One year old bear “Rainbow” tried to chew through her paw to escape a snare in China before she was discovered after being trapped for days.

Her rescuers - Animals Asia were appalled by the state they found her in. With maggots in her flesh, around and inside her mouth and nose, as well as in her paw where she had chewed through her “toes” in a desperate attempt to escape. Her teeth were also damaged due to biting the wire trap.

The team were able to dart the frightened and angry yearling and within minutes she was asleep, allowing them to lift her out of the forest and into the awaiting truck that would take her to the sanctuary and hospital in Chengdu. The rescue took place in the mountainous area of Peng Zhou in Sichuan Province, nearly two hours from Animals Asia’s China Bear Rescue Centre. The team had been alerted by concerned Peng Zhou Forestry officials.

The moon bear youngster was hungry and dehydrated and was believed to have been there for several days. It’s believed she is aged between a year and two years of age.

Rainbow was immediately operated on late that evening after returning to the centre. Once the snare was removed, it was found that the paw was so badly infected and damaged, it was necessary to amputate it. She was named Rainbow by rescuers inspired by the rainbow that formed overhead during the rescue.

Animals Asia founder and CEO Jill Robinson said:

“It’s hard to imagine a more upsetting, tragic sight than this small, vulnerable bear that should still be out in the forest with her mother. It would apear that illegal hunters had laid snares opportunistically for wild animals, and this little bear was unfortunate enough to step into one.



Rainbow was found hungry and dehydrated for days

One year old bear “Rainbow” tried to chew through her paw to escape a snare in China before she was discovered after being trapped for days.

Her rescuers - Animals Asia were appalled by the state they found her in. With maggots in her flesh, around and inside her mouth and nose, as well as in her paw where she had chewed through her “toes” in a desperate attempt to escape. Her teeth were also damaged due to biting the wire trap.

The team were able to dart the frightened and angry yearling and within minutes she was asleep, allowing them to lift her out of the forest and into the awaiting truck that would take her to the sanctuary and hospital in Chengdu. The rescue took place in the mountainous area of Peng Zhou in Sichuan Province, nearly two hours from Animals Asia’s China Bear Rescue Centre. The team had been alerted by concerned Peng Zhou Forestry officials.

The moon bear youngster was hungry and dehydrated and was believed to have been there for several days. It’s believed she is aged between a year and two years of age.

Rainbow was immediately operated on late that evening after returning to the centre. Once the snare was removed, it was found that the paw was so badly infected and damaged, it was necessary to amputate it. She was named Rainbow by rescuers inspired by the rainbow that formed overhead during the rescue.

Animals Asia founder and CEO Jill Robinson said:

“It’s hard to imagine a more upsetting, tragic sight than this small, vulnerable bear that should still be out in the forest with her mother. It would apear that illegal hunters had laid snares opportunistically for wild animals, and this little bear was unfortunate enough to step into one.

“Rainbow suffered the most horrible ordeal imaginable and it lasted day after day. Her only piece of luck was that caring forestry officials had acted so fast, and that it had happened so close to our sanctuary.”

With sanctuaries in China and Vietnam - Animals Asia cares for almost 600 bears - the vast majority of which have been rescued from the bear bile trade. Of those bears - more than one third are missing limbs as a result of illegal snares.

Animals Asia is investigating the possibility of a wild return for Rainbow – weighing up her chances of survival in the wild against the care she’d receive in a sanctuary.

Jill added: “It is thanks to the Peng Zhou Forestry for acting so quickly and calling us after Rainbow was discovered, that her life has been saved.”
[video=youtube;7hXJNKhYgeY]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7hXJNKhYgeY[/video]

Nic Field, Animals Asia’s Bear and Veterinary Team Director said:

“She is in very good hands. Animals Asia has extensive experience of raising cubs and yearlings and we know through the bears that live with us that she can live a full life without her paw. She is understandably angry and frightened but definitely a fighter. Despite her feistiness she is gaining confidence and trust with each passing day. She is eating well, healing well and taking her medication.

“Each bear rescue is a huge commitment. Even so young, this bear has had so much taken from her by humans. If she cannot be returned to the wild then we’ll do our best to repay a debt to her here and give her the best life imaginable. Rainbow can be fit, healthy and happy again.”
 

MIST

Proud Member
Joined
Jul 25, 2011
Messages
5,183
Points
63
[video=youtube;rFkftGh8HJY]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rFkftGh8HJY[/video]
It´s terrible to see bears in small cages and the floor in the cage Bing Minh lived in..I don´t have words..poor bear
They are travelling to the sanctuary now , it´s a long road and it will take time to heal these bears.
To heal their bodies will be the easiest thing I think compared to the mind
 

MIST

Proud Member
Joined
Jul 25, 2011
Messages
5,183
Points
63
Five steps from bile farm to freedom for rescued bears

Once a bear has been freed from a life of bile extraction, the true road to recovery begins.
Their cages can be left thousands of kilometres behind, but decades of pain and suffering are harder to erase. The rehabilitation of a bear is a long and very individual process, but there are five steps each bear must pass on their personal journey to recovery.
1. Quarantine
When bears arrive at the sanctuary, they will first need to be quarantined for 45 days. It’s a vital step to protect the health of all the bears at the sanctuary, but also requires careful management to keep the bears stimulated.
During this time there’ll be plenty of extra treats, as well as puzzle feeders and even new tastes, sounds and smells specially designed to stimulate the bears and fend off boredom.

2. Health checks
When the vet team believes they are ready, rescued bears will receive full health checks and any medical procedures they require. This might include the removal of their gall bladder if significantly damaged by bile extraction. For many bears rescued from the bile industry it will include extensive dental surgery to remove damaged teeth from a lifetime of poor diet and vain attempts to chew their way to freedom through iron bars. If painful conditions are discovered, vets will be able to improve the animal’s welfare either with surgery or medication.

3. Dens
Following quarantine, bears can expect to be moved to a much larger indoor area known as a den.
When moving to a new, larger environment, the reaction of each bear will very much depend on their personality and past experiences. Some rescued bears initially find the move to a larger space traumatic and can be reluctant to enter at first. Others immediately relish having more space to play and jump right in.
4. Meeting the neighbours
Once each bear is comfortable in a den, the next step is usually careful integration with other bears. Moon bears are not thought to be social animals in the wild, and so communities must be carefully selected and managed.
Prior to integration, sanctuary staff carefully monitor the bears for signs of stress or aggression. If there are no negative signs, then the bears will be introduced in a non-threatening environment under careful management. Long term, relationships can be extremely therapeutic for rescued bears, with many – such as Mama and Moggy or Bonny and Prince – forming strong, life-long bonds.

5. The green green grass of home
The most significant step in any bear’s rehabilitation is their first steps out into an enclosure. Whether this takes place before or after integration with other bears, it is a milestone in any bear’s recovery and – like the introduction to a den – each bear reacts differently. Some – like Ti Map – take time to fully trust large open spaces, while others are quick to explore every nook and cranny.
Over time, rescued bears come to realise that their new good life is for ever and start to relax. They learn to live with other bears, to trust their human carers – to forage and play and finally live the life denied them by the bear bile industry.
 

MIST

Proud Member
Joined
Jul 25, 2011
Messages
5,183
Points
63
The devastating goodbye letter to a rescued bear who died too soon

Rescued from Vietnam’s Halong Bay in June 2015, it was immediately clear that moon bear Shanti had suffered horribly.
Over 18 months her carers worked tirelessly to earn her trust and encourage her to embrace life again, but ultimately they could not give Shanti back what had been taken from her and she was never mentally ready to experience the daunting vastness of the outdoors.
In January 2017, Shanti starting suffering from paralysis and spasming of her hind legs. She refused to eat, leaving her carers little choice but to humanely end her suffering. She was buried at Animals Asia’s Vietnam Bear Rescue Centre.

Bear Manager Kelly Donithan, was hit hard at her loss. Her heart-wrenching letter, describing her relationship with Shanti and feelings of loss at her passing deserves a wider audience.
Her letter to Shanti includes:
“As I sat by her grave this morning, I begged her forgiveness for myself for not hearing better what she needed and wanted. I poured out apologies for the cruelty my species subjected her to that created such challenges in her life, even after her rescue despite being loved so dearly. I closed my eyes and pictured her outside in the grass, something I've been picturing for months, but now know I'll never see in person.”

And finishes:
“Rest easy Shanti Girl. May your new world be pain-free, full of sunshine and banana flowers. Thank you for the time you gave us. I'll love you always.”
You can read the letter in full here:

“When I received the message last week that something was wrong with Shanti, my heart sank. I've been worried, confused, bemused, frustrated and absolutely in love with this bear every day for the last year and a half.

“First, it was gaining her trust and earning a relationship with her. Nothing was easy for Shanti and achievements came in small packages. Achievements such as the first time I was able to give her a spoonful of condensed milk on a normal sized spoon versus the retractable invention needed to reach her for the weeks when she refused to leave the back of the den.
“Slowly, Shanti improved and we developed a friendship that was expressed in subtle winks, strawberry jam, and sighs of relaxation.

“Then there was her appetite. Shanti wouldn't eat any ‘normal’ bear food. She was utterly repulsed by apple and made sure I was well aware of her distaste with loud huffs of discontent.
“I racked my brain to find flavours and consistencies she would accept. Baby food, rice cereals, cooked vegetables, minced fruits, soaked dog chow, blended together, separated in piles, seasoned with chocolate syrup or yogurt, squished with jam. But any diet accepted didn't last more than a few days or weeks before an abrupt refusal from Shanti.

“With the rest of the vet team, we looked for physical medical reasons for this unusual lack of appetite. There were periods of waiting and observation to avoid constantly making too many changes to Shanti's life, but always lurking in the background was a consistent humming of ‘why?’ and ‘what to do next?’

“While Shanti had increased her confidence in den life and responded far better to her human caregivers, she was still a bear that required more gentle requests, more time to proceed in routine, and more patience to build trust.
“We began to consider that perhaps her chronic anxiety was playing a role in her unstable and confounding appetite. After much discussion, it was decided to trial Shanti on anti-depressants to hopefully address any mental health complications to her well-being.
“Initially, this appeared to be a step in the right direction. Her appetite increased and for the first time, we were able to get her to eat all the staples of a bear diet, albeit in slightly creative forms. Her activity seemed to elevate and working with her in the bear house became a smoother process. I had learned to temper my expectations with Shanti, and while I was pleased to see her doing better, I (and the rest of the team) kept a close eye for any signs of old habits. Sadly, they came in skipped meals, less consumption, and ultimately a renewed refusal to eat.

“As I sat by her grave this morning, I begged her forgiveness for myself for not hearing better what she needed and wanted. I poured out apologies for the cruelty my species subjected her to that created such challenges in her life, even after her rescue despite being loved so dearly. I closed my eyes and pictured her outside in the grass, something I've been picturing for months, but now know I'll never see in person.


“As a bear manager, Shanti taught me incredible patience, determination, and above all, to never discount the importance of individuality. Shanti was as special and unique as they come. Her challenges, triumphs, joys, fears, and of course tastes were unlike any other.

“Personally, working with Shanti through her trials gave me the courage to face some of my own demons and fight for healing that I've too long buried away. I can't possibly think I gave her back as much as she's given me. Yet, I'm also relieved her suffering has ended, and I'll hold tight to the moments of seeing her roll playfully on her back in a basket while fumbling with browse in her big paws with snow white claws.

“Rest easy Shanti Girl. May your new world be pain-free, full of sunshine and banana flowers, and never again should the scent of apple float past your nose. Thank you for the time you gave us. I'll love you always.”
https://www.animalsasia.org/intl/me...tter-to-a-rescued-bear-who-died-too-soon.html
 

MIST

Proud Member
Joined
Jul 25, 2011
Messages
5,183
Points
63
This was the horrific scene awaiting our rescue team this morning as they arrived at a bile farm in Binh Duong province Vietnam.
Nine sad bears in tiny cages. Cages that will have witnessed scenes beyond torture. The regular bile extractions they will have faced are just the start of their pain.
“Cloud” has a missing tongue. “Dieu” has a scar that stretches right across her body - likely to have been caused during her capture. It limits her movement.
When Dieu was sedated she didn’t even flinch. She just stared into space - a bear truly without hope.
Jane and Xanadu have facial scars from rubbing against the cage. Literally trying to rub out an awful existence. Perhaps even pain was preferable to their mind numbing boredom.
There is good news. The Animals Asia team are there and - as we post this - these bears are being taken from these awful cages. They are being sedated and health checked and they’ll awake to the best meal of their sad lives.
We’re there because of YOU. Because YOU didn’t give up these bears. And YOU didn’t give up on ending bear bile farming. YOU wouldn’t stand for this cruelty.
In short - YOU cared when poor Dieu thought nobody ever would.
Please help us bring these bears back to our sanctuary. It is a long long journey home. Almost 1,500kms. Each bear will react differently.
For some it’ll be preferable to the hellish boredom they have faced to date - for others it will be yet more stress to cope with.
But because of you an end to their pain is in sight. They are finally coming home. Soon their pain will go.
Please take the decision today be a part of their new lives. Be a part of this journey. Donate today towards the cost of getting them home and making them fit, healthy and happy.
Today we have hope that this cruelty can be ended. NOW let's give these bears hope too. It isn’t just about keeping them alive - it’s about giving them a reason to live.
Please donate today here: www.animalsasia.org/NineLives
THANK YOU from Song Be, Jane, Binh An, Soul, Wolfie, Dieu, Xanadu, Chom Chom and Cloud.
PS Don’t forget you can follow the rescue live all week here: http://bit.ly/9LivesLIVE - there’s also a donate link at the top of the timeline if you’d like to give towards the cost of the rescue and the bears’ rehabilitation. Thank you!

https://www.facebook.com/AnimalsAsia/?hc_ref=NEWSFEED&fref=nf
 

MIST

Proud Member
Joined
Jul 25, 2011
Messages
5,183
Points
63
Vietnam agrees plan to close all bear bile farms

In a historic move the Vietnamese government has agreed a plan with Animals Asia to finally end bear bile farming in the country.
The Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) outlines an agreement between animal welfare NGO Animals Asia and the Vietnam Administration of Forestry (VNFOREST) to work together to rescue the remaining bears still caged on farms across Vietnam – believed to be around 1,000.
The document was signed and announced at the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development in Hanoi on Wednesday 19 July.

Mr Cao Chi Cong, Deputy General Director of the Vietnam Administration of Forestry, under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, joined Animals Asia CEO and founder Jill Robinson MBE in signing the MOU.
The move follows the MOU between Animals Asia and the Vietnamese Traditional Medicine Association signed in 2015, agreeing to ensure a complete end to bear bile prescription among traditional medicine practitioners by 2020.

This is anticipated to continue a significant reduction in demand and contribute towards the ending of the illegal market for bear bile.
Today’s agreement is effectively one that will finally close the loophole that has allowed bile farms to continue despite the illegality of the trade.
The MOU commits the government to ensuring no bears are allowed to be kept by private households – where illegal bile extraction can take place – and that the approximately 1,000 bears currently held in captivity around the country are moved to sanctuaries.
Animals Asia’s Vietnam Director Tuan Bendixsen said:
“This historic document ties NGOs and the government of Vietnam to a common goal - the end of bear bile farming in Vietnam.
“Crucially, the government has agreed to close the loophole that has allowed bile farming to persist for the last decade. By signing this MOU, they have agreed that there can be no bears kept on farms, because as long as they are there, they will suffer extraction.”
Animals Asia has so far rescued 186 bears in Vietnam since setting up its sanctuary in Tam Dao in 2008.

Bear bile farming has been illegal in Vietnam since 1992. In 2006, every bear in captivity was microchipped so that no new bears could be added to farms. But with the country lacking resources and expertise to build rescue centres and care for the animals, households were allowed to keep the bears on the government’s behalf having agreed not to extract bile. This loophole has effectively allowed bear bile farming to continue until now.
Since bear bile farming became a common practice in China and Vietnam in the 1980s, wild populations have been decimated to meet the demand the industry created.


A report by Animals Asia and Free The Bears released in 2016 found that wild populations across South East Asia had fallen dramatically with precious few pockets of wild bears existing in Vietnam today. It had been wrongly anticipated that farming bears would actually help conserve wild bears.
In 2005 bear bile farming reached its peak in Vietnam with over 4,000 bears in captivity, but with farmers unable to add new bears to existing stocks, numbers have dwindled to around 1,000.
Tuan said:
“This agreement shows Vietnam acknowledges that bear bile farming harms wild populations. By signing on, they’ve shown they are serious about conserving the country’s remaining wild bears and protecting the heritage of future generations.”
While the signing of a memorandum of understanding is a landmark achievement in the battle to end bear bile farming cruelty, it will not mean an overnight end to the industry in Vietnam.
Key issues such as how to fund and manage the sanctuaries and how to proceed with the transfer of privately owned bears to rescue centres will be hammered out as part of the agreement.
It’s anticipated that new sanctuaries would need to be constructed and assistance sought from existing sanctuaries run by animal conservation and welfare charities.

nimals Asia’s Founder and CEO, Jill Robinson MBE said:
“This agreement has been a long time coming with discussions beginning around 2014, so to see it finalised is a major step forward. This, of course, doesn’t end the work. Quite the opposite, but it now means we work together with a common goal – to end this cruelty.
“With all parties pulling in the right direction and in agreement about our goals we can make real progress. For the animals who have suffered for more than a decade in awful conditions the move to sanctuaries cannot come soon enough and that is the next issue – how to fund, build and manage the new sanctuaries which are necessary to rescue all bears.
“We’ve essentially sat down with the government and made a list of what needs to be completed to end bear bile farming and agreed to work through these issues together.
“It is still a huge undertaking and will require the participation of many groups, NGOs, government departments and the support of animal lovers in general to make this agreement reality, but pivotally we are all in agreement about what has to be done and now we can get on with seeing it through.”

https://www.animalsasia.org/us/medi...agrees-plan-to-close-all-bear-bile-farms.html
 

MIST

Proud Member
Joined
Jul 25, 2011
Messages
5,183
Points
63
REPORT: Vietnam has agreed to end bear bile farming – here’s what happens next
16 August 2017

After the historic agreement to end bear bile farming in Vietnam, here’s what needs to happen to get from 1,000 caged bears in cages, to none.
By Vietnam Director Tuan Bendixsen
By pledging to completely end bear bile farming in Vietnam, the government has accepted a huge challenge.
But it’s one neither Animals Asia nor the government would have accepted if we didn’t think it was achievable.
The MOU itself has a five-year timeframe and this is what the Vietnam government is working towards, no more bears in cages by 2023.
But Animals Asia is hopeful this can be achieved earlier – particularly in light of our agreement with Vietnam’s Traditional Medicine Association to completely end the prescription and sale of bear bile among traditional medicine practitioners by 2020.

First steps
The first step is for Animals Asia and Vietnam’s Nature Conservation Department to finalise an overarching plan for the whole process.
That entire project – with solutions for every problem – will need to be rubberstamped by government before the process can begin.
To get an idea of the scale, the first task on the agenda is re-checking the farms in every province to find out exactly how many bears there are.
The government has been using the figure of 1,200 – but that is a 2015 figure, and we believe the true number is closer to 1,000.
Either way, we have to know for sure so that we can plan how much sanctuary space is required.

The good news is that the framework for this plan has already been drawn up it’s just the details that need to be hammered out.
This will include how many sanctuaries to build, sourcing potential locations, agreeing funding solutions, assigning management responsibilities, drawing up a comprehensive conservation plan and details on how to physically move the bears from farms to safety.

We’re hopeful that the draft will be ready in six months and it will receive input from other charities working in the sector and other departments of government before being approved.
While bear rescues will continue in the meantime – such as those Animals Asia has continued to oversee – we’re hopeful, the first bears could start to move from cages to sanctuaries around this time next year as part of the MOU.

Resources are the biggest obstacle
If resources were no object, we would simply build as many sanctuaries as we need all at once and transport all the bears in one go.
But right now, resources are the single biggest obstacle to a bear bile free Vietnam.
We estimate the cost of building enough sanctuaries, running them for a year and transporting all the bears at around USD$15-20 million.
This is money neither the Vietnam government, Animals Asia, nor any single NGO has available.

Rolling up the industry
So with a period of mass building and a single vast transportation of bears ruled out, the plan is to build the sanctuaries one by one as resources become available.
Then, once sanctuary space is ready, the bears can be transported. With provinces becoming systematically emptied of bears - one at a time. The authorities have dubbed this, the “rolling up” of the industry – like rolling up a mat.
Just as Animals Asia ended bear bile farming in the province of Quang Ninh in 2015, the same process will be carried out in each of the approximately 40 provinces and cities where bile farming persists.
And once the cages are empty – they can never be refilled.
The legal loophole and grey area of ownership, which has allowed bear bile farming to persist, will be closed. Forever.
After that point, there will be no confusion. Any bear in private hands will be illegal. And the cruelty of bear bile farming will be a thing of the past.
https://www.animalsasia.org/us/medi...ear-bile-farming-heres-what-happens-next.html
 

MIST

Proud Member
Joined
Jul 25, 2011
Messages
5,183
Points
63
MoonBearMonday: Two blind bears find all the love they’ll ever need
[video=youtube;2ggf1gJ4Vgo]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2ggf1gJ4Vgo[/video]

Rescued moon bears Mityan and Bill have a shared history. Both spent up to a decade caged on Chinese bile farms suffering regular, painful bile extraction.

Mityan’s body was mutilated. A permanent passage was cut from his gall bladder to his abdomen from which his bile dripped – to be collected and sold for use in traditional medicine.

Tragically both bears are blind due to retinal atrophy – a vital part of their eyes has literally wasted away. Ophthalmologists and vets agree poor nutrition and chronic inflammation as a result of bile extraction were likely factors.

But Mityan and Bill are actually two of the lucky ones. They have been rescued from bile farms and have spent more than a decade in the peace of Animals Asia’s China Bear Rescue Centre – the only sanctuary for bears in the entire country.

At least 10,000 other bears are not so lucky and continue to be held on industrial scale bile farms across the country where their bile is extracted for traditional medicine.

Animals Asia’s China Bear and Vet Team Director Nic Field said:

“Bill and Mityan live happily in a community with 5 other blind bears – and all of them live relatively active lives. They know each other well by scent, sound and touch and are completely relaxed with each other.

“They are among some of the most playful bears in their group as well as the sanctuary and enjoy spending time together, whether gently wrestling, playing or just sleeping and relaxing.
Serious eye problems are tragically fairly common among ex-bile farm bears. While a total of 10 bears are completely blind at Animals Asia’s China sanctuary sanctuary, 60% of the 80 bears on site live with some level of ocular disease which requires ongoing specialist attention.

The range of eye problems runs from retinal detachment and lens luxation, which both result in blindness, to cataracts, lesions and ulcers, which can cause pain and severe loss of vision.

Animals Asia’s Founder and CEO, Jill Robinson MBE said:

“While the age of the bears at the sanctuary certainly has a part to play in the very high instances we’re seeing of ocular disease, I believe the primary cause is the extreme conditions the bears have endured on bile farms.

“No animal is capable of enduring such atrocious treatment without serious repercussions and even bears – so strong and stoic – are no exception. Their bodies have been subjected to the most abominable torture and no part of them is unaffected by what is done to them on farms.

“Fortunately, we have found that blindness – when managed correctly – doesn’t have to mean a drop in welfare or quality of life. The blind bears at our sanctuary remain active, playful and happy and are much loved members of the sanctuary community.”
“They seem to take great comfort from each other’s company and it is really quite remarkable how well these blind bears adapt to their environment. They have each suffered harrowing experiences alone for many years, so to see them find happiness and solace in each other feels like such a just reward for them.”

www.animalsasia.org/intl/media/news...bears-find-all-the-love-theyll-ever-need.html
 

MIST

Proud Member
Joined
Jul 25, 2011
Messages
5,183
Points
63
[video=youtube;DDv82Pr75CA]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DDv82Pr75CA[/video]
She has her first ever name and now she’s free from pain, but moon bear Precious remains wary of humans after years of abuse.
She suffered 17 years of isolation and pain on a bear bile farm, but swiftly after being rescued and brought to sanctuary, moon bear Precious is now pain-free.
During her first health check at the sanctuary, vets removed her fractured and infected lower canine tooth as well as three other teeth suffering from disease.

Her remaining teeth were cleaned and a healthy diet of crunchy vegetables suitable for the species, along with regular health checks, will ensure her teeth remain clean so that dental pain doesn’t return.
Animals Asia Senior Veterinary Surgeon Shaun Thomson said:
“The procedure to remove Precious’s damaged teeth went very well and will greatly improve her quality of life as she no longer has to cope with constant agony.
“Thankfully, closer inspection of her gallbladder – so often damaged by bile extraction – showed the organ was less compromised than first feared and currently doesn’t require surgery.”
Following the medical procedures, Precious returned to an indoor den where she will recover and continue her 45-day quarantine period.
While still kept separate from other bears to maintain quarantine, Precious does now have visual contact with other recently rescued bears Mekong, Star, Kim, Mai and LeBON from August’s #FiveLives rescue and Sky from the #MoonBearMountainRescue in September.

Animals Asia Bear Manager Sarah van Herpt said:
“Precious is still very wary of humans after all she’s suffered. We continue to work on building trust with her on a daily basis, but trust takes time. It’s very likely her rehabilitation will be a much longer process than for other recently rescued bears, but we won’t give up on her. She’ll get all the time she needs.”
After completing a 45-day quarantine period, Precious’s rehabilitation will see her eventually introduced to other bears, and, when she is physically and psychologically ready, she will receive access to a large outdoor enclosure.
https://www.animalsasia.org/intl/me...ecious-free-of-pain-after-dental-surgery.html
 

MIST

Proud Member
Joined
Jul 25, 2011
Messages
5,183
Points
63
Circus trauma left moon bear cub Sugar too scared to eat, but in sanctuary life grows sweeter every day
[video=youtube;-4y7yWCkuhA]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-4y7yWCkuhA[/video]
Patience, love and expert care has given bear cub Sugar the confidence she needs to know she is safe after the horror of poaching and circus trauma.

When Animals Asia investigators discovered moon bear cubs Sugar and Spice being forced to perform in a Vietnamese circus, the duo were traumatised.
On stage, the sisters were made to ride motorbikes, and when they inevitably crashed, the ringmasters simply hauled the cubs back to their feet by the scruff of the neck and put them back on the bikes.

Even once rescued and safely at Animals Asia’s award-winning Vietnam Bear Rescue Centre, Sugar remained deeply scared of humans.
She spent her days hiding on a high platform or cowering behind her bolder sister Spice and never dared to eat in front of her carers.

But Animals Asia’s bear care team are the most experienced in the country when it comes to caring for abused bear cubs and they knew that with love, patience, persistence and expert care, Sugar would come to realise she was safe.

Animals Asia Senior Bear Manager Sarah van Herpt said:

“The transformation we’ve seenWhen rescued, Sugar and Spice, who are siblings, weighed just 36 and 50 kilogrammes respectively and are believed to be under a year old.

With no survival skills nor safe space for wild release, it is expected that both cubs will spend the rest of their lives – hopefully up to 30 years – in Animals Asia’s Vietnam Bear Rescue Centre, the only sanctuary accredited by the Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries in the country.

An Animals Asia investigation in 2017 revealed that circuses across Vietnam were routinely forcing endangered and protected species to perform while 100% of facilities failed to meet the basic needs of the animals.

To date, no facility has been able to explain the origin of their protected species, yet the rescue of Sugar and Spice marks the first time the authorities have taken punitive action against a circus or tourist facility in possession of a protected species. in Sugar has been simply amazing. She was incredibly traumatised, but now she has learned to trust her carers and will even come to be hand fed.

“She is spending lots of time outside playing with her sister and looks incredibly happy and relaxed when playing with puzzle feeders or relaxing on her favourite swing.”
When rescued, Sugar and Spice, who are siblings, weighed just 36 and 50 kilogrammes respectively and are believed to be under a year old.

With no survival skills nor safe space for wild release, it is expected that both cubs will spend the rest of their lives – hopefully up to 30 years – in Animals Asia’s Vietnam Bear Rescue Centre, the only sanctuary accredited by the Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries in the country.

An Animals Asia investigation in 2017 revealed that circuses across Vietnam were routinely forcing endangered and protected species to perform while 100% of facilities failed to meet the basic needs of the animals.

To date, no facility has been able to explain the origin of their protected species, yet the rescue of Sugar and Spice marks the first time the authorities have taken punitive action against a circus or tourist facility in possession of a protected species.

With facilities unable to breed bears and their poaching and sale illegal, serious questions remain as to how the animals are being obtained.

Animals Asia is currently petitioning the Vietnam government to ban wild animal performance and send the animals to recognised rescue centres and sanctuaries.

The petition currently has more than 130,000 signatures and will be presented to the Ministry of Culture, Sport and Tourism.

It is unacceptable that animals like Sugar and Spice are being poached from the wild and sold into cruel captivity to be traumatised simply for a moment’s entertainment for the crowd.

Speak up for these voiceless victims, add your name to the petition today demanding all wild animal performances be banned in Vietnam.
https://www.animalsasia.org/intl/me...n-sanctuary-life-grows-sweeter-every-day.html
 
Top