Let us take these unwanted bears and give them a beautiful life

Bear farming is illegal in Vietnam, but in 2004, bear bile farmers were given the opportunity of officially micro-chipping and registering their bears, thus keeping them for public display, and as "pets". Any bears found without microchips from 2005 were deemed illegal, and confiscated by the authorities, where NGO's like ourselves could provide sanctuary for the rest of their lives.

Since then, we have carried out many investigations in Vietnam, including at the world heritage site of Halong Bay. Past investigation there found clear evidence that bears were still being painfully extracted, but the government was unable to act under the provisions of the current law. Just this past November our team were once again at Halong Bay. Flanked by government officials and a police guard - Tuan and our veterinary staff were investigating the three remaining farms.

escortOn the worst farm they recoiled, health-checking emaciated bears that were severely malnourished, wounded, obviously continuing to have their bile extracted - and dying in front of their eyes. Since visiting the three farms that day, 26 of the 49 bears have died - and still government departments have failed to take decisive action and give Animals Asia a mandate to rescue the bears.

bear 1It breaks our hearts to think how these bears have died. Where are the bodies, or the body parts of these bears? How is the farmer being held accountable? And how are the owners of all of these farms allowed to continue flouting the law and laughing all the way to the bank?

bear 2

Read the full article for the Huffington Post here.

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