More than 10,000 bears are kept on bile farms in China, and just under 2,000 suffer the same fate in Vietnam. The bears are "milked" regularly for their bile, which is not only used in traditional medicine but also in many ordinary household products.
Bile is extracted using various painful, invasive techniques, all of which cause massive infection in the bears. This cruel practice continues despite the availability of a large number of effective and affordable herbal and synthetic alternatives.
Most farmed bears are kept in tiny cages. In China, the cages are sometimes so small that the bears are unable to turn around or stand on all fours. Some bears are caged as cubs and never released. Bears may be kept caged for up to 30 years. Most farmed bears are starved, dehydrated and suffer from multiple diseases and malignant tumours that ultimately kill them.