Vietnam to Banish Bear Bile Farms

This summer, the Vietnamese government agreed to a memorandum of understanding with the nonprofit Animals Asia to finally end bear bile farming in the country. On bile farms, the bears, primarily Asiatic black bears and sun bears, are locked in tiny cages their whole lives. Several times a day, bile is extracted via painful procedures for use in traditional medicines. Bile farming was officially outlawed in 1992, but a giant loophole allowed people to continue to keep bears as “household pets.” Another law passed in 2005 to outlaw bile extraction but, again, people could keep the bears they already had. The MOU commits the government and Animals Asia to work together to rescue the estimated 1,000 bears still kept for their bile and ensure an end to private possession of bears.