9 bears who spent their lives in cages have been rescued from bile farms in Vietnam.
Bear bile farming is against the law in Vietnam, nonetheless it’s nonetheless practiced in a number of areas. Greater than half of Vietnam’s remaining 308 bears are saved on farms, in line with conservation group Schooling for Nature Vietnam (ENV), which took half within the rescue.
Groups from animal welfare group 4 Paws and ENV visited three bear bile farms in Binh Duong province the place the 9 bears had been trapped in cages for years.
The rescue mission took years of preparation and was delayed a number of instances due to the COVID pandemic.
A 4 Paws spokesperson instructed Newsweek that the rescue mission went very easily.
The groups discovered a number of of the bears had been emaciated, solely weighing about 110 kilos. A wholesome feminine Asiatic bear ought to weigh about 200 to 250 kilos, whereas males can weigh up 400 kilos. One of many bears was additionally discovered to be lacking a leg.
Footage of the bears earlier than their rescue present them trapped in small, concrete cages.
On Thursday, groups rescued the primary two bears referred to as Danh and Thi and checked their well being on web site. In a Fb put up, Bear Sanctuary in Ninh Binh—the place the bears might be transported—mentioned their well being check confirmed “many issues” that can should be monitored and handled.
On the second farm visited on Thursday, 4 bears referred to as Teo, Tai, Tin and Khoi had been rescued. The 4 male bears had spent at the least 17 years trapped in cages. On the third and ultimate farm on Friday, three bears referred to as Nui, Vui, and An, had been rescued.
In one other Fb put up, which may be discovered right here, the Bear Sanctuary confirmed that every one 9 bears at the moment are on their method to the 4 Paws Bear Sanctuary in Ninh Binh, and resulting from arrive on Sunday.
Bear bile is scientifically confirmed to assist dissolve gallstones and deal with liver illness. Nonetheless, it’s also offered commercially and marketed as a treatment for most cancers, colds, and hangovers, although there isn’t a scientific proof supporting this use.
Bile is extracted by pushing a metal or perspex catheter by the bear’s stomach and into the gallbladder, which may be painful. The animals are sometimes sedated with ketamine or restrained with ropes in the course of the course of. It may possibly trigger infections, hunger, dehydration and different illnesses. Hundreds of bears are nonetheless saved on bile farms throughout China, Vietnam, Laos and Myanmar, regardless of there being medical cruelty-free alternate options.
In a press launch, founder and government Director of ENV, Quyen Vu, mentioned the rescue marks one other step in Binh Duong’s journey “from one in every of Vietnam’s largest bear bile-farming hotspots,” to at least one displaying “distinctive dedication within the struggle to finish bear farming.”