Thursday 4 April 2013

Bear Bile Farming

Farming of bears for bile is one of the most ruthless malpractices against wild animals, practised (not surprisingly) in China, Korea, Laos and Vietnam. The bears (usually Black or Moon Bears) are kept in 'crush cages' that are so small that the captive bear is rendered completely immobile. The process of extraction of bile itself is excruciating- an open wound or a fistula is created in the bear's gall, from which the bile drips out and is collected. Researchers have reported seeing bears moan and chew their own paws in pain during bile extraction. The wound is vulnerable to lethal infections, increasing their mortality rate. Even though science has proven bear bile to be of no medicinal use, its consumption continues as an ingredient of Traditional Chinese Medicine. The Hong Kong based 'Animals Asia Foundation' is doing significant work to curb this.

Creative Commons License
This work by Rohan Chakravarty is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.


  1. In case anyone wants to know, here is a good summary of the evidence for and against bear bile efficacy (tl;dr - unlikely to be effective):

    You don't even have to condemn the use of the chemical from bile though - you can synthesise it in the lab or extract it from pig bladders, which makes the whole thing even more awful.

  2. Thank you for your valuable inputs, Pakasuchus