The focus of our Bear Bile Farming programme is to rescue bears from the bear bile industry, provide life-long care for rescued bears at our award-winning sanctuaries in China and Vietnam, and work towards ending the industry in Asia.

Over 10,000 bears – mainly moon bears but also sun bears and brown bears – are held in captivity on farms in Asia to have bile extracted from their gall bladders on a regular basis, for profit.

Most farmed bears are kept in tiny cages, sometimes so small that the bears are unable to turn around or stand on all fours. Some bears are put into cages as cubs and never leave them, existing for up to 30 years under these conditions. Often they grow too large to be removed through the cage door upon rescue, and bear the scars of the tight cage bars on their bodies. This not only has a severe impact on their physical health, but also on their psychological well-being.

Bear bile is collected by means of various, invasive extraction methods, all of which cause massive infections in the bears. Most farmed bears are starved, dehydrated and suffering from multiple diseases and malignant tumours that contaminate their bile and ultimately kill them. Very few receive appropriate medication or any type of veterinary care. Animals Asia has also seen instances of old or very sick bears – those who fail to produce bile – simply left to starve to death in their cages.

Pathology reports have shown that bile from sick bears is often contaminated with blood, pus, faeces, urine, bacteria and cancer cells.

Despite the availability of inexpensive and effective herbal and synthetic alternatives – and the dangers of consuming bile from sick bears – bile farming continues. Demand for bear bile products comes mainly from China, Japan, Korea, Vietnam, Malaysia and Taiwan. Bear bile products are also found in Australia, Indonesia, Laos, Myanmar, Singapore, the US and Canada.


What We Do

Animals Asia’s work to end bear bile farming focuses on five key areas:

How You Can Help

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