Asian bear farming: breaking the cycle of exploitation (warning: graphic images)

In the forests of Asia, are being captured. These captives will be sent to bear farms, most unregulated and illegal, where they will be kept alive in a small cage, locked away for life. Their bodies will be used as renewable natural resources, from which profit will be made through the extraction of internal organs and fluids. By surgically inserting a permanent catheter into the bears’ gall bladders, “farmers” extract several ounces of their bile. In a cycle of exploitation across east Asia, traditional medicine shops receive these daily shipments of products, while consumers support the industry through the purchase of these products, sustaining a supply-and-demand chain that puts more and more bears in cages as wild populations dwindle.

Sun bear in a cage in . Photo by: Chris R. Shepherd / TRAFFIC Southeast Asia.

Bear cages in Möng La, Shan, Myanmar. Photo by: Dan Bennett.

Capsules from sun bear bile extraction operation in Möng La, Shan, Myanmar. Photo by: Dan Bennett.

An Asian just killed in a market in for its . Photo: Chris R. Shepherd/TRAFFIC Southeast Asia.

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