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Animals Asia concern over bear bile report

14 November 2013

Animals Asia is hugely concerned by misrepresentation in the report “Bear Bile Could Stall Onset of Diabetes, Study Says”.

Despite repeatedly linking the use of bear bile for the medicinal purposes in regards to research by Harvard University the article eventually makes it clear that bear bile was not used in tests.

The most telling line of the report is: “Luckily, no bears were harmed in the making of Hotamisligil’s study. You can get bear bile-like chemicals from other types of animals like oxen. Hotamisligil purchases it from a company that harvests it out of livestock.”

No tests appear to have been carried out using bear bile and as such we believe the headline to be misleading. We are concerned that the report will be used to justify the continued caging of 10,000 bears in horrific conditions in China despite no bear bile being used in these trials.

Synthetic, cruelty-free versions of bear bile’s active ingredients are available. Animals Asia has long worked with Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioners to assist them in advocating and promoting alternatives. In this case, where it's scientists themselves who are using alternatives, we believe it is irresponsible to attribute any findings to the properties of bear bile or to further promote its use.