years ago this April, Jill Robinson first walked onto a bear bile farm. On that day in April 1993, Jill could have walked away, but she chose to act and do what she could. Today, you also have a choice. If everyone reading this donated just US$20, it would pay for the care of over 150 bears at our China sanctuary for a full year. Please help us celebrate 20 years of progress. Donate US$20 today (or whatever you can afford).
250 experts meet in Beijing to discuss alternatives to animal parts in traditional medicine
Chengdu pathologist Dr Wang spoke about the health risks of consuming bear bile.
The conference was attended by over 250 TCM and conservation experts.
Professor Feng presented his work on the herbal alternatives to bear bile.
Animals Asia was delighted to attend and help fund the International Symposium for the Conservation of Endangered Species and Traditional Chinese Medicine organised by the American College of Traditional Chinese Medicine (ACTCM) in conjunction with the World Federation of Chinese Medicine Societies (WFCMS) on 28 and 29 November in Beijing.
The symposium brought together over 250 herbal vendors, practitioners, scholars, government officials, and policy-makers from the fields of TCM and environmental conservation. ACTCM selected 18 leaders from across China to address conservation policy, alternatives to endangered species, and specific medicinal species, such as bears, pangolin and turtles.
We were proud to have Professor Feng Yibin from the School of Chinese Medicine at the University of Hong Kong, traditional Chinese medicine Professor Liu Zheng Cai and Dr Wang Sheng Xian, a Chengdu pathologist, in attendance to present their work on the availability and effectiveness of herbal alternatives to bear bile and the potential human health implications of consuming bile extracted from bears that are so badly diseased due to the process of bile extraction.
The ACTCM aims to reduce the use of endangered species and unsustainable harvesting practices in Chinese herbal medicine by disseminating the most current information and research on the use of endangered species within TCM and the availability of viable alternatives.
The International Symposium for the Conservation of Endangered Species and Traditional Chinese Medicine is a significant step towards the development of TCM as a more ecologically sustainable medicine. ACTCM’s vision is to become an international centre of educational excellence, advancing professional collaboration and ecologically sustainable medicines and promoting increased research into viable alternatives to endangered medicinal species.
Through this symposium, ACTCM brought the issue of endangered species conservation, as well as the inhumane treatment of medicinal species such as the Asiatic black bear, to the forefront of attention of TCM professionals from across China.
In the past, such events have focused on the conservation of single species used in traditional Chinese medicines, such as tiger parts, but this event was unique in that, it was supported by a national TCM organisation in China and addressed a diversity of topics within the broad theme of endangered species conservation and TCM.
The symposium also convened the first meeting of a working group of experts dedicated to this theme of endangered species and TCM. This group consists of renowned researchers from Chengdu University of TCM and Shanghai University of TCM as well as WWF scientists. ACTCM looks forward to building stronger partnerships with these institutions and organisations and collaborating on future research and educational projects as well as policy recommendations.
Animals Asia would like to offer our sincerest of thanks to ACTCM President Lixin Huang and Development Officer Bria Larson for organising this event and generating further debate on the use of endangered species products within TCM in China and beyond.
Animals Asia would also like to thank the Hauser Bear Foundation and Maria Norbury Foundation for helping to fund the symposium.
Following the conference we are delighted to announce that Jill Robinson was nominated and accepted as a Council Member of the World Federation of Chinese Medicine Societies (WFCMS) Herbal Committee. This opportunity will offer Animals Asia important networking opportunities and influence on future meetings of the WFCMS Herbal Committee and further promotion of our work to end the trade in bear bile and other endangered species products within TCM.