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Animals Asia Saves 33 Bears from Vietnam's Bile Farms

A few dozen bears in northern Vietnam are now safe, thanks to a six-month rescue mission by Hong Kong-based Animals Asia.

The animal rights group, which cooperates with Tam Dao National Park in northern Vietnam, has successfully rescued 33 bears from bile farms across Quang Ninh province, reports Thanh Nien. The farms, which extract and sell bear bile for traditional medicine purposes, are known for their mistreatment of animals, which often includes subjecting bears to poor living areas, inadequate diet and painful bile extraction practices.

Despite a government order issued last May requiring bile farms in Quang Ninh, the country's bear bile hub, to cease their activities, as many as 108 bears have been starved to death since then. 

Animals Asia learned of the issue late last year and set about tracking down these farms. The group has since pledged to eliminate remaining bile farms by 2020, though they've got their work cut out for them, as over 1,200 bears in Vietnam are still at risk.

Even so, this is news worth celebrating in a country whose animal rights track record is not great. “That we could help bring an end to bile farming in a place previously known as the worst bear bile farming province in Vietnam is something to celebrate, and also a reason to look to the future with optimism,” said Animals Asia’s Vietnam Director Tuan Bendixsen in a public statement from the group. “Vietnam has shown that it wants this situation to end, and that it’s capable of taking the steps to put an end to it once and for all.”

[Photo via Animals Asia]


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