There are currently over 4,000 bears on farms in Vietnam. Bear farming and the extraction of the bearís bile is illegal in Vietnam, but due to the number of bears on farms it is not possible for the authorities to confiscate them all.
The Vietnamese Government manages the situation through a World Society for the Protection of Animals-instigated microchipping programme to identify the 4,000 captive bears currently on farms. The aim of the microchipping programme is to stop the hunting of the few remaining bears in the wild to replenish the farms.
The bear farmers are not allowed to extract bile from these bears, but Animals Asia has evidence to show that bile extraction continues illegally. Animals Asia has passed this evidence to the government.
Following a monitoring programme by the Vietnamese authorities any bear found with no microchip is considered illegal, the bear should be confiscated and the owner liable to prosecution.
In November 2005, Animals Asia signed an agreement with the Vietnamese government to rescue 200 bears and rehabilitate them at our Moon Bear Rescue Centre in Tam Dao National Park. Our rescue centre is currently home to 27 bears confiscated by the government and is ready to receive more bears rescued from bear farms.
In September 2007, 80 non-microchipped bears on farms in Quang Ninh Province were identified. Under Vietnamese law, these bears should have been confiscated and transferred into the care of Animals Asia. However, following extensive talks with the Vietnamese authorities, only one of these bears has been confiscated.
In April 2008, the Deputy Prime Minister of Vietnam made a decision not to confiscate the remaining 79 bears and they now remain on these farms. This decision contravenes Vietnamese law. Animals Asia and other non-governmental organisations have formed the Vietnam NGO Bear Taskforce, which continues to lobby the government to overturn this decision.
We now need your help to convince the Vietnamese government to enforce the law and release these bears into our care: