Today, my mind is finally back on land. I recently visited the Atlanta Zoo, and I was encouraged by their efforts to spread awareness on the threats humans pose to animals. (I’ll post about my visit soon, but I thought this should be the first priority) One thing in particular that caught my attention was a sign about the bear bile trade. I had previously watched season 2 episode 1 of Wildlife SOS, which was about this practice. I would encourage you to watch this as well so you can really get a visual of this horrific trade. I knew that I had to write a post about it, so here I am!
In Asia, bears are under threat. Many different species of bear are subject to the bear bile trade, which is a horrible practice to extract bile from the gallbladder. This bile is then sold to those who believe it has unique medicinal properties. While it is true that this bile has remedial powers, there are many cruelty-free alternatives.
But how exactly is this bile extracted? Well, it all starts with the housing. They’re forced to live in tiny metal cages, with the bars of the cage disfiguring their paws. Their paw tips are often cut off to prevent claw growth, and teeth cut back to gums to render them defenseless. Even if they’re taken out of this deathly environment, they can never be released back into the wild because of the threat of poaching.
For the extraction itself, the process varies throughout each farm. The general procedure goes something like this: a long needle is used to pierce through the liver into the gallbladder, then the bile is pumped from the gallbladder. The frequency of this extraction varies depending on the location, but this process is usually repeated every two weeks or more.
In Vietnam, this process is illegal but unfortunately prosecution is rare. This trade is still alive and legal in China, and must be stopped! Click here to see what’s being done to stop this appalling cruelty, and what you can do to help.
Thank you so much for reading this post! I encourage you to share this and spread awareness on this atrocious trade.