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Compromised health and welfare of bears farmed for bile in China

By I. K. Loeffler, J. Robinson, G. Cochrane

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The practice of farming bears for bile extraction is legal in China and involves an estimated 10,000 to 12,000 animals, primarily Asiatic black bears (Ursus thibetanus). This study outlines the compromises to health and welfare suffered by bears on bile farms and is based on the results of visits to more than 50 bear farms; 15 years' worth of interviews with bear farmers, Chinese officials, practitioners of Traditional Chinese Medicine and vendors dealing in bear parts; and from the observation and care of approximately 250 bears that have been rescued from bile farms. Bears that have been rescued from farms display evidence of severe and chronic physical and psychological suffering. Medical complications arising from the husbandry and the gall bladder fistulation significantly, and often fatally, compromise bears' health.

Date 2009
Publication Title Animal Welfare
Volume 18
Issue 3
Pages 225-235
ISBN/ISSN 0962-7286
Language English
Author Address International Fund for Animal Welfare, Room 908 Golden Tower No 1, Xibahe South Rd, Chaoyang District, Beijing 100028, China.
Cite this work

Researchers should cite this work as follows:

  1. Animal husbandry
  2. Animal nutrition
  3. Animal rights
  4. Animal welfare
  5. Asia
  6. Bears
  7. Bile
  8. China
  9. Complications
  10. Developed countries
  11. Farms
  12. Gall
  13. Health
  14. Health services
  15. Husbandry
  16. interviews
  17. Law and legal issues
  18. Laws and regulations
  19. Legal aspects
  20. Mammals
  21. peer-reviewed
  22. practices
  23. principles
  1. peer-reviewed