Chinese Youth Rises Against Cruel Bear Bile Trade

The extraction of bear bile for “medical" purposes is one of the cruelest forms of animal exploitation. Animals are kept in extreme confinement so that bile can be extracted from their gall bladders and sold for use as traditional Asian “ edicine." The full horror of this type of practice has been graphically illustrated by newspaper articles that tell the story of a mother bear who once killed her cub and then killed herself to avoid the grueling fate that awaited them. Fortunately, an increasing number of Asians are turning against this painful business.

Now, thousands of high-flying students represented by 100 Chinese Students and Scholars Associations (CSSAs) around the world have signed a pledge organized by Animals Asia, part of a campaign to end bear bile farming. These Chinese students go to some of the world’s most high profile universities such as Princeton, Stanford, Oxford and Cambridge. The pledge is motivated by animal welfare, and the fact that such practices have no place in a “civilized Chinese society."

“Bears have been suffering extreme abuse in bear bile farms. As overseas Chinese students, we hope the creatures in our motherland can enjoy the freedom they deserve, instead of being tortured. Therefore, we would like to call upon the vicious industry of bear bile farming to end as soon as possible,” said Xin Teng, President of the Princeton University Association of Chinese Students and Scholars.

The campaign kick started in March 2013 thanks to the efforts of Morgan Wu, President of the Berkeley Chinese Students and Scholars Association. “We were not sure how far this campaign could go and how much support it could gain, but we believed in the saying, ‘a journey of a thousand miles can be achieved through the accumulation of single steps.’ Today I am truly thrilled and gratified by the fact that 100 CSSA’s joined us. And I’d like to express my gratitude to the great efforts and support from all employees of Animals Asia.”

Although China is largely perceived by the animal welfare community as one of the worst places in the world to be a non-human, public perception of welfare issues in that country have been changing dramatically over the last decade. “We talk of these incredible students as the leaders of tomorrow. China is changing and these are the young people that will go on to oversee further change and hopefully increased prosperity. They don’t need us to tell them that bear bile farming should be consigned to the past. They know there’s no long-term future in industries that aim to profit from cruelty. China should be very proud of them,” said Animals Asia founder and CEO, Jill Robinson MBE.

Image credit: Animals Asia