VIETNAM BEAR DAY - Ending bear farming in Vietnam: Ten years of progress

Hanoi, May 7th 2015: Education for Nature – Vietnam (ENV) and our partner organizations are joined by ENV Bear Ambassador My Linh in celebrating ten years of progress in working to end bear farming and trade in Vietnam. The celebration of Vietnam’s “Bear Day” falls on the one-year anniversary of the successful closure of bear bile tourism operations in Ha Long Bay, and also coincides with the release of a new ENV study indicating a substantial reduction in bear bile consumption over the past five years.


May 8   My Linh at NBD

 Singer My Linh talking about her contribution in the campaign to end bear farming


The demand for bear bile poses a critical threat to bears in Vietnam and in the region. In 2005, more than 4,300 bears were kept at farms across the country and exploited for bile, used as a form of traditional medicine to treat bruises and other ailments. Virtually all of these bears were illegally hunted from the wild.


However, in 2005, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development undertook measures to phase out bear farming in Vietnam beginning with the registration and identification of all captive bears on farms. Since then, bear bile farming and trade in Vietnam has declined greatly as government agencies, local and international organizations, and the public have become actively involved in putting an end to this cruel and illegal industry.


This year, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development reported that there were 1,250 bears remaining on farms in Vietnam, a 72% decline since 2005.


The results of a 2014 attitude survey of more than 3,000 residents across Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh and Da Nang found that bear bile consumption had dropped by approximately 61% since 2009 when an identical survey was carried out examining attitudes of bear bile consumers.


Ong Luke Nicholson - Giam doc Du an Hop tac khu vuc to chuc World Animal Protection phat bieu

Mr. Luke Nicholson - Regional Director of World Animal Protection describing the efforts put into ending bear farming


Bear farms in Ha Long city that were operating businesses illegally selling bear bile to Korean and other tourists were shut down permanently in May 2014 following a joint enforcement campaign by Quang Ninh People’s Committee, relevant government agencies, and ENV.


ENV Bear Ambassador and celebrity pop star My Linh joined ENV and our partner organizations for the celebration emphasizing the plight of Vietnam’s bears in captivity.


“Vietnam’s bears have suffered miserable lives in captivity, many coming into farms as young cubs and spending all their lives in cages”, said My Linh.


“We have made great progress over ten years but this effort is not over until there are no more bears being exploited for bile on farms anywhere in this country.” My Linh called upon the public to join her and raise their voices to put an end to bear farming in Vietnam once and for all.


My Linh’s comments were echoed by ENV Executive Director Vu Thi Quyen. “Today we celebrate great progress that is well deserved by our government partners and others that are engaged in this struggle to put an end to the bear bile industry here.”


“It is too early to declare success”, said Quyen, “We have 1,250 bears to go before we can declare victory. However, we can take pride as a nation that we have come this far together with government, civil society, the business sector, the media, celebrities and the public working together to address a serious problem within our society and threat to our biodiversity.” Quyen added, “When the bear farming and trade ends, bears will have a chance to recover in the wild.”


Ba Vu Thi Quyen - Giam doc ENV chia se 10 nam no luc cham dut nan nuoi nhot gau tai VN

Ms. Vu Thi Quyen, Director of ENV gave a speech about the 10 years of progress in ending bear farming in Vietnam


Ba Vu Thi Quyen ENV trao tang ki niem chuong cho Dai su bao ve Gau Ca si My Linh

ENV recognizing Bear Ambassabor of her contribution to the protection of Vietnam's bears 


In conjunction with Vietnam Bear Day, volunteers from ENV’s 5,000-strong national wildlife protection network are hosting “End Bear Farming and Trade” events in 15 major cities to raise awareness and encourage people to join the fight on behalf of Vietnam’s captive bears. These cities include Hanoi, Hai Phong, Thai Nguyen, Thanh Hoa, Nghe An, Ha Tinh, Quang Binh, Quang Tri, Hue, Da Nang, Quang Nam, Binh Duong, Dong Nai, Ho Chi Minh city and Can Tho.


Also on the occasion of Vietnam Bear Day, ENV has released its latest public service announcement (PSA). The PSA features well-known actor Trung Hieu urging the public to create a better world for the future of our children by putting a stop to the use of bear bile.


ENV wishes to thank the World Animal Protection for their long-term support to government and ENV in helping end bear farming and trade in Vietnam, as well as Four Paws International, a recent addition to ENV’s strategic partnership. Additionally, ENV wishes to emphasize the critical contribution of the Animals Asia Foundation in establishing a successful world-class sanctuary at Tam Dao National Park for bears confiscated from the trade or rescued from bear farms, and Free the Bears, currently developing the bear rescue center at Cat Tien for placement of bears in the south of Vietnam.


ENV would also like to thank the Hanoi Daewoo Hotel for their generous support for this event, marking the launch of a new partnership with ENV in efforts to protect Vietnam’s bears and other endangered wildlife.


Ong Stephen J. Alexander - Giam doc dieu hanh khach san Daewoo

Mr. Stephen J. Alexander, Executive Director of Daewoo Hotel committing about their partnership in 2015 with ENV


Dai su bao ve Gau My Linh chup anh luu niem cung cac dai bieu

ENV Bear Ambassador and honoured guests from Governmen agencies and conservation organizations attending the conference


More information about ENV’s strategic campaign to end bear farming and trade in Vietnam can be found at http://envietnam.org/index.php/what-we-do/env-species-focused-campaigns/end-bear-farming-and-trade

More information about ENV's latest analysis of change in bear bile use can be found at http://www.envietnam.org/images/News_Resources/Publication/Analysis-of-change-in-bear-bile-use-2015.pdf

Additionally, watch our short film highlighting ten years of ENV commitment and progress in ending bear farming and trade in Vietnam: https://youtu.be/jlFq1NkSLEE



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