Historic Vote to End Global Bear Bile Industry
Education for Nature-Vietnam (ENV) and the World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA) congratulates the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) for voting to end bear bile farming at their World Conservation Congress on Friday night.
This historic vote came the day after Vietnam Bear Day, when more than 50 national celebrities and thousands of members of the public from across the country joined ENV to call for an end to bear farming in Vietnam.
After many long debates during the week-long Congress, an overwhelming 98 per cent of the Governments and Conservation Groups voted to adopt Motion 027, showing they clearly understand the urgent need to put an end to the bear bile industry.
The new motion calls for: countries to close down bear bile farming and extraction facilities, capping the growth of the industry in China, and challenging those who back the industry to provide independent scientific evidence to the next IUCN World Conservation Congress. The IUCN also specifically encouraged the governments of Vietnam and South Korea to continue efforts towards ending bear farming.
“The bear bile industry in Vietnam poses a major threat to the survival of bears, not just in Vietnam but across the region,” says ENV’s Vice-Director Tran Viet Hung. “Global attention will now focus on action. Especially if, in the coming months, Vietnam can allocate sufficient budget and provide a guaranteed timetable for the planned phase out the illegal bear bile industry in Vietnam.”
Mr. Hung called on the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development to reinforce its 2005 commitment to end all bear farming in Vietnam by aggressively enforcing a ban on bear bile extraction, and to work with the public as well as other government agencies to rapidly phase out bear farming altogether.
“Consumers here in Vietnam represent a minority of the population, and there are plenty of alternatives to bear bile that make this cruel and illegal practice of exploiting bears completely unnecessary in today’s modern world. We feel the tide is rising against bear bile farmers who have all but decimated wild populations of bears for their own personal gain, with little consideration for the interests of their communities and the people of Vietnam.”
"Due to industry lobbying, the motion passed is not as strong as the original version tabled, but WSPA welcomes the fact that expert conservationists and governments are joining animal welfare NGOs in calling time on this cruel and unnecessary industry,” says Chris Gee, External Affairs Manager at World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA).
“Bears suffer immense cruelty and pain as a result of being kept captive in bear bile industry conditions – it is time for this unnecessary suffering to end,” says Mr Gee. “The IUCN made the right decision and millions of animal lovers around the world will welcome this exciting news.”
ENV has partnered with WSPA in efforts to end bear farming in Vietnam since 2004.