Breaking! World Animal Protection & Four Paws Collaborate To Rescue Nine Captive Bears From Bile Farms In Vietnam

Photos from BEAR SANCTUARY Ninh Binh, Facebook

In the largest bear rescue World Animal Protection has ever supported, nine bears have been saved from three farms in south Vietnam last week. The rescued bears, from Binh Duong province, have since been relocated to BEAR SANCTUARY, run by Four Paws, in Ninh Binh, Vietnam.

In 2005, when bear bile extraction was made illegal in Vietnam, the number of bears on farms was 4,300. Today, there are fewer than 314, a 93% reduction. Farmers are unfathomably still allowed to keep bears as ‘pets.’ This sadly provides cover for illegal bear bile farming.

World Animal Protection has been working in partnership with the Forest Protection Department in Vietnam for a bear microchipping and monitoring program.

“Despite the strides made to end bear farming in Vietnam, hundreds of bears are still suffering a tortuous life in captivity for their bile. Maya Pastakia, Wildlife Campaign Manager at World Animal Protection said in a statement. “These nine bears were kept in tiny cages, not much larger than a telephone booth, for at least 17 years, which is when they were first microchipped. While they are now free from cruelty, the scars from their extreme physical and psychological suffering will last their lifetime.”

World Animal Protection has worked tirelessly with all three farm owners to convince them to voluntarily surrender the bears to sanctuaries.

The rescue team visited two farms on February 10th, Vu Van Hien farm which had two bears, a 190kg female and a 185kg male that were anesthetized and had health checks before being transported. The second farm, Nguyen Ngoc Tien, voluntarily surrendered four bears.

The team rescued three more bears from Huynh Thi My farm the following day. They were anesthetized, had health checks, and transported to the sanctuary. The bears are very small, weighing between 50-60kg each, due to poor care.

“Our experienced team will make sure all nine new arrivals receive all the care they need to recover from their past suffering. We already rescued 18 bears from Binh Duong province, which shows that the province is working hard towards the governmental goal to phase out bear bile farming in Vietnam,” stated Magdalena Scherk-Trettin, FOUR PAWS bear projects coordinator.

Bear bile farming is one of the worst forms of institutionalized animal cruelty in the world. It is wholly unjustified as there are herbal and non-bear bile alternatives. Sadly, bears are suffering unnecessarily.

“The government of Vietnam must close all remaining legal loopholes and prohibit farmers from keeping their caged bears as pets in order to end the barbaric and illegal practice of bear bile farming,” concluded Pastakia.

This year marks World Animal Protection’s 30-year anniversary working to protect bears. During this period, the organization has rescued and rehomed hundreds of bears around the world, designed and funded 12 bear sanctuaries globally, and worked in 25 countries to help captive bears. This is in addition to the mass sterilization initiatives, consumer campaigns, and government lobbying that the organization has implemented.

World Animal Protection will continue to work until all provinces in Vietnam are free from this cruel practice.

Donations to help World Animal Protection continue its important work can be made, HERE!

Numerous ways to help support Four Paws and its BEAR SANCTUARY can be found, HERE!

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