From bear baiting in the Ukraine, to bear farms in Vietnam the violence and tragedy against bears looms daily for these beautiful beasts. Unable to escape and defend themselves, they are subject to horrific pain and daily ritualistic abuse from humans and other animals such as dogs for medicinal and even entertainment purposes.
Baiting Bear – An Atrocity in Entertainment
This is a practice in the Ukraine that is illegal to this day but still goes on behind closed doors. It is a terrible, brutal way for hunting dogs to train hunting. Get this, hunters will go out in the wild, find a mother bear with cubs, kill the mother and take the cubs. Stuff them into a box and take them off onto the back of a truck and into town raise them in metal cages next to restaurants, and other visible areas and use them as entertainment for visitors. All the while as they grow, many will have their claws ripped out, enduring much pain. In which I’ve heard it’s much like humans experiencing having fingertips cut-off.
While in captivity these bears are fed the bare minimum, no veterinary care, barely enough room to move around. Once full-grown, they are let out, not for fun, but for a grueling horrific, terrible couple hours of exhausting “training” with hunting dogs coming at them while they are tied up around the neck to a tree unable to fight back. Like I stated earlier most have their claws taken out so they are unable to cause harm to the dogs. These dogs attack and bite at the bear for nearly two hours at a time at which the bear becomes completely exhausted and cannot fight them off any longer. Meanwhile, the hunters have ropes attached to the bear controlling his every move. To gain better insight please view the video but I warn you it is not pleasant.
Luckily for these bears, Four Paws Rescue has launched a campaign and has been able to stop the illegal practice of baiting bear. Right now their are about twenty bears in captivity last I heard, and they are actively fighting to get the last of those bears into a sanctuary right now. Four Paws has worked tirelessly to help these bears and have opened many sanctuaries across the region and they will not stop until the last one is saved.
Asian Bear Bile Farms – No More!
This is a topic I literally stumbled upon. It’s horrible and unbelievable! I’ve written about fur farms overseas and to me it seems that these countries have no regard for the lives of animals. They will do whatever necessary for the love of money and thank goodness for our animal advocates that go to these countries and fight for the those who cannot fight for themselves!
Why? This is why, for medicinal purposes. When you think of a bear, you think a massive, majestic animal living in the forest or woods, far away from the population feeding on berries or salmon in the river leading a solace existence preparing for a long winters nap. Nope, not in China, Vietnam, or Laos. Not so much in Vietnam, it has been declared illegal to capture and contain bears in Vietnam, but it is still currently legal to have the ones still in captivity. Let me expand on why they are captured and contained, it’s simple, for their bile. It’s big business, it’s a money maker and is used in medicine across Asia.
Main types of bears used are:
- Moon Bears
- Sun Bears
- Brown Bears
These bears are often caught as cubs, kept in tiny cages and unable to grow to full height and weight due to the size of the cage they are put in. These bears suffer unimaginable cruelty, lack of food, water, exercise, and the ability to interact with others. Day in, day out the bears are “milked” for their bile, usually twice a day. One can only imagine a life lived for thirty years in an environment such as this. I searched YouTube and found a video that describes this topic, you are encouraged to view it to gain a better understanding of the conditions these animals suffer.
Bile Extraction – Extreme Pain
Now we know the bears are stuffed into extremely small enclosures, suffering hunger and thirst now it’s time to learn the truth about the horrific act of bile extraction and the different ways it is extracted from the bear and the pain they suffer from it on a daily basis. The ones who become to ill and do not produce bile any longer will be shoved aside, left in their tiny cage to die of starvation all alone without any regard for its life or pain and suffering.
Remember the article about research animals? This one definitely tops the cruelty charts on that one. In China here is the list of extraction methods:
- Latex Catheter – surgically implanted into the gall bladder, where up to 100 ml can be taken two times a day, but this way is risky as the catheter can clog due to the bile crysalizing
- Metal Jacket – A rubber pipe is surgically attached to the bear’s gall bladder, then attached to a fluid bag that is attached to a metal box. In order for this box to stay in place, the bear is fitted with a metal “jacket” that weighs just over 22 pounds. This is emptied bi-weekly, and most bears that wear this suffer infection, hair loss, and skin problems.
- Metal Catheter – These are about 5-7 cm long and are surgically implanted into the gall bladder and the bile is extracted daily. The bears are kept in “crush” cages for years. This allows for easy extraction of the fluid. A crush cage does not allow movement for the bear at all.
- Free Drip – The most common practice which the bear endures surgery to open the duct from the gall bladder to the abdomen to allow a constant drip. But with this, the hole or membrane may grow over when the bile has drained, then it has to be re-opened inserting a metal tube through it. Obtaining bile this way has been considered the most humane way, but has had more contaminants and infections with it.
In conclusion, you can see the bears are in desperate need of saving! Luckily they are being helped and the laws are changing, but the farms in China are still legal. The ones in Vietnam will be shut down completely by the year 2020 thanks to Four Paws Rescue. They worked so hard on this. The baiting bear issue is currently illegal as well and only about 20 or less in captivity. Currently, they have activists working to free them to sanctuaries very soon. That story popped up on NatGeo last night and I couldn’t get it out of my head, so I just had to write a little piece about it today.
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