Skip to content

Scientific Studies Reveal Brutal Truth of Bear Farming Industry

February 23, 2012

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Related, please click on and sign the End Bear Farming Appeal


“Though tortured by human beings for many years, they always express a kind and forgiving nature…” – Rocky Shi, Animals Asia’s China bear sanctuary

Scientific research into bears previously farmed using the “free drip” method of bile extraction was revealed today at an Animals Asia press conference in Beijing. The detailed medical evidence was based on analysis of 165 bears that had been rescued and brought to Animals Asia’s bear sanctuary near Chengdu.

  • 99% of free drip bears had cholecystitis,
  • 66% had gall bladder polyps
  • 34% had abdominal herniation,
  • 28% had internal absessation,
  • 22% had gallstones

Of the bears studied, 163 (99%) had cholecystitis, 109 (66%) had gall bladder polyps, 56 (34%) had abdominal herniation, 46 (28%) had internal absessation, 36 (22%) had gallstones, and 7 had peritonitis. Many of the bears had multiple combinations of these conditions.

At a press conference held last Thursday by the China Association of Traditional Chinese Medicine, the association’s head, Fang Shuting, stated that: “The process of extracting bear bile was as easy, natural and painless as turning on a tap”.

Monica Bando, a veterinary surgeon at Animals Asia, commented:

    “The free drip method of bile extraction can cause great harm and pain to farmed bears.”

Across Asia, an estimated 14,000 moon bears are being held in captivity on farms and milked for their bile because its believed to be effective in the practice of traditional Asian medicine despite the availability of inexpensive and effective herbal and synthetic alternatives. In China, the bears can spend more than 30 years in tiny cages and are milked regularly for their bile through crude catheters or permanently open holes in their abdomens.

In response to allegations that farms break current regulations, Fang Shuting stated last week said: “If such bear farms are found, please let us know.”

At the press conference, an independent film-maker revealed undercover footage of the bear farming industry. The footage was shot between 2009 and 2010 and reveals “legal” bear farms with conditions that are clearly breaking current regulations.

It shows bears forced to wear metal jackets that weigh them down and hold rubber pipes into their gall bladders. Bear farmers are shown baking bile juice in dirty containers, smashing the dried bile, and hand-making capsules of bear bile powder.

The film footage was produced by Elsa Xiong, Tu Qiao and Chen Yuanzhong for a documentary. They spent four years working on the documentary, travelling to six provinces and conducting many undercover investigations.

Elsa Xiong commented:

    “Because bear farms are closed from public, we encountered many unimaginable difficulties and risks. The bear farming industry is extremely cruel. What is even more shocking is that the legal bear farming industry allows many dirty and unsafe products to enter the market.”

Rocky Shi, a bear worker from Animals Asia’s China bear sanctuary also spoke at the press conference and introduced the happy lives of rescued bears. He said:

    “Every bear has their own character, emotions, and social life. Though tortured by human beings for many years, they always express a kind and forgiving nature, and show no hatred towards people.”

Dr Jill Robinson MBE, Founder and CEO of Animals Asia commented:

    “The practice of bear farming will end only by change coming from within China, and not because of pressure from overseas. Indeed, foreign pressure could even be counter-productive and cause the bears’ suffering to continue. We have seen an unprecedented outcry from the Chinese public and media over the last few days. It’s heartening to see so many people in China coming out against this awful industry and there is growing hope that the bear farming industry may soon come to an end.”

Gui Zhentang, a bear bile company that has applied for an Initial Public Offering in Shenzhen, and has met with much opposition from the public, has invited press and the public to visit their bear-bile farm in the next few days.

Toby Zhang, External Affairs Director in China for Animals Asia commented:

    “We are pleased that Animals Asia has been invited and we will be looking for a guarantee of transparency, and several conditions for viewing the bears.”

He also pointed out that he hasn’t yet received confirmation of his reserved place on the visit.

Animals Asia Foundation is an Asian-focused government-registered organisation with headquarters in Hong Kong and offices in Australia, China, Germany, Italy, the UK, USA and Vietnam, and Moon Bear Rescue Centers in China and Vietnam. We have around 270 staff worldwide. We have three flagship programs:

End Bear Farming is aimed at bringing the barbaric practice of bear farming and the bile trade to an end. We have signed agreements with both the Chinese and Vietnamese governments to rescue a total of 700 bears from the torture of bile farms, and bring them to our sanctuaries to live out their lives in peace and safety.

Cat and Dog Welfare campaigns for a better life for cats and dogs by encouraging responsible dog and cat ownership, working with provincial governments in China towards ending culling, through our Friends or Food campaign to end cat and dog eating in Asia and with Animal Therapy through our pioneering Dr Dog and Professor Paws programs, which operate in 10 Asian cities.

Action against Cruelty includes our Captive Bear Care, Chinese Zoos and Safari Parks and Wildlife Consumption campaigns. We lobby government departments at all levels for long-term comprehensive legislation to protect animals, as well as bring about positive change today.

Further information can be found on our website:

if towards kindness manunkind
would apply the same zeal
think how much better
the entire planet would feel
no more ugly, cruel and mean
a compassionate orb with
smiles, everywhere seen
it is nice to dream…

Karen Lyons Kalmenson

3 Comments leave one →
  1. Isabelle permalink
    February 23, 2012 12:20 pm

    A life of tortured of hell…breaks my heart to hear their screams..set them free!!!! …..what is wrong with China and most Asian countries they have absolutely no feelings at all towards any animal they are so vile and barbaric….if only they could spend a week in the skins of these animals only then could they imagine what they are doing….their hearts of stone.


  2. LINDA BADHAM permalink
    February 23, 2012 12:31 pm



  3. karen lyons kalmenson permalink
    February 23, 2012 1:14 pm

    if towards kindness manunkind
    would apply the same zeal
    think how much better
    the entire planet would feel
    no more ugly, cruel and mean
    a compassionate orb with
    smiles, everywhere seen
    it is nice to dream…


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

World Animals Voice

Animal news from around the world.

Yolanda och hennes kreativa skrik

Aspergers syndrom, bipolaritet, fotografi, konst, poesi.

Once Upon An Activist

Every so often, you will get to tell someone your stories, and it will become a part of their awakening

Barbara Crane Navarro

Rainforest Art Project - Pas de Cartier !


creative design center



M4nic Digression

Bipolar, bisexual and vegan. Blogging for myself. Currently stable...ish. A blog that critics are describing as "all over the place" and "lousy with errors".

Aloe Veritas

Arts and Letters of the Earth

Cosmic Skeptic

Question Everything

Striking at the Roots

Animal activism around the world



The Bruges Vegan

more than waffles and chocolate

DirtNKids Blog

Soil, Kids, Vegan -- Connected Through Nature

Amici del Lupo - Svizzera italiana

per sensibilizzare e farlo conoscere...

Animalista Untamed

The only good cage is an empty cage

Jet Eliot

Travel and Wildlife Adventures

Organic Opinion

Finding it, aye there's the rub~

Flawless Pandemonium

Question everything~

%d bloggers like this: