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).
Hepatobiliary surgeon, Rob Bohmer strongly condemns the use of bear bile.
Australian liver specialist labels bear bile a major health hazard
Following his attendance at our Australian Roadshow 2010, liver specialist Rob Bohmer began his own research into the use of bear bile and has made the following statement:
“Photographs provided by Animals Asia of bear livers and gall bladders obtained from caged bears in China and Vietnam that have been used for bile extraction, show gross pathology typical of chronic sepsis/infection in the bile and gall bladders that has lead on to biliary cirrhosis, biliary strictures and liver cancer.
Thick, inflamed gall bladder walls with gall stones would be a result of the ongoing bile infection (cholangitis). This would be from repeated and continued introduction of catheters into the gall bladders to obtain bile, or from free drip fistulas that connect the gall bladders to the skin with subsequent infection. There can be no doubt that the animals would suffer extreme pain and debility from the ongoing bile drains and infection, and eventual death from liver cancer.
For humans to consume bile from these animals would put their health at significant risk, with a large dose of infecting bacteria and malignant cells in the bile. This should be a major public health hazard in the relevant countries, not only in relation to those that ingest the bile but also workers on the bear farms that would be continually exposed to infected bile and wounds on the animals and exposure to resistant bacteria from the liberal use of antibiotics on the farms for the bears infections.
The practice of bile extraction from bears is not only inhumane in the extreme, but also carries a substantial risk to those that ingest the bile and those that work in the industry.
As a hepatobiliary (liver) surgeon based in Hobart, Australia, I strongly condemn the use of bear bile in any way. It carries significant human health concerns. Alternate bile extracts from pharmacy companies are commercially available in safe standardised doses, free of contaminants.
Patients I treat with bile infection (cholangitis) suffer a great deal of pain and need urgent treatment. Ongoing bile infection in humans can result in gall stones, biliary strictures, biliary cirrhosis and eventually liver cancer (hepatomas and cholangiocarcinomas)."