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Peter Fearnhead, CEO, African Parks Network, South Africa


 

Vietnam to end bear bile farming

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Great news from Vietnam for bears!

The Vietnamese government has now agreed a plan to end bear bile farming in the country with Animals Asia.

The Memorandum of Understanding outlines an agreement between Animals Asia nad the Vietnam Adminsistration of Forestry to work together to rescue the bears who are still caged on farms across Vietnam.  It is estimated that there are about 1,000 of them.  The Memo was signed and announced on Wednesday 19 July at the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.


Essentially, the Memo commits the Vietnamese government to making sure that no bears are allowed to be kept by private households.  (It’s here that illegal bile extraction could take place.)    And the 1,000 bears currently held captive will be moved to sanctuaries. 

Vietnam Director of Animals Asia, Tuan Bendixsen, said “This historic document ties NGOs and the government of Vietnam to a common goal – the end of bear bile farming in Vietnam.” 

Bear bile farming was harming wild bears, whose population was dwindling, so hopefully the agreement will help show that the country is serious about the country’s remaining wild bears and protecting the heritage of future generations. 

Key issues moving forward will be:

  1. How to fund and manage the sanctuaries
  2. How to proceed with the transfer of privately owned bears to rescue centres

It is expected that new sanctuaries will need to be built, and help sought from existing sanctuaries run by animal conservation and welfare charities. 

Animals Asia’s Founder and CEO, Jill Robinson MBE said:  “This agreement has been a long time coming with discussions beginning around 2014, so to see it finalised is a major step forward. This, of course, doesn’t end the work. Quite the opposite, but it now means we work together with a common goal – to end this cruelty. We’ve essentially sat down with the government and made a list of what needs to be completed to end bear bile farming and agreed to work through these issues together.

The agreement will need the support and participation of many groups, NGO’s, government departments and animal lovers to make it happen, but Jill Robinson says, “pivotally we are all in agreement about what has to be done and now we can get on with seeing it through.”

Click here to go to Animals Asia

 

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