Chinese government reportedly recommending bear bile injections to treat coronavirus

Chinese government reportedly recommending bear bile injections to treat coronavirus

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The government of China is reportedly recommending a treatment that includes bear bile.

The London-based Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) reported today that a list of recommended treatments for the novel coronavirus disease published by the Chinese government earlier this month includes injections of a called “Tan Re Qing,” which contains bear bile.

Chinese government reportedly recommending bear bile injections to treat coronavirus
Asiatic (Ursus thibetanus), one of the bear species most commonly farmed for bile. Photo by Guérin Nicolas, licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0.

“‘Tan Re Qing’ injections are among the recommended treatments for ‘severe’ and ‘critical’ cases of coronavirus in the COVID-19 Diagnosis and Treatment Plan (7th Trial Version), published on 4 March 2020 by the National Health Commission and circulated via State media,” EIA said in a statement.

Last month, China adopted a comprehensive ban on trade and consumption of wildlife in response to the growing COVID-19 outbreak, which scientists believe originated in a market in the Chinese city of Wuhan where wild animals and are sold. But the ban does not prohibit the use of wildlife products in or as ornamental items.

EIA wildlife campaigner and China specialist Aron White noted the irony in the country recommending a treatment that relies on trade in wildlife in response to a global disease pandemic born from the wildlife trade.

“Restricting the eating of wildlife while promoting medicines containing wildlife parts exemplifies the mixed messages being sent by Chinese authorities on wildlife trade,” White said in a statement. “Aside from the irony of promoting a wildlife product for treatment of a disease which the scientific community has overwhelmingly concluded originated in wildlife, the continued promotion of the use of threatened wildlife in medicine is hugely irresponsible in an era of unprecedented biodiversity loss, including illegal and unsustainable trade.”

Even if the bear bile used to treat patients with COVID-19 is sourced from captive animals, that will not relieve pressure on wild bear populations, White said. Markets where wildlife is traded legally only serve to legitimize and perpetuate the demand for wildlife products, he argued. Furthermore, he added, the use of wildlife in traditional medicine is unnecessary because herbal and artificial alternatives exist.

The Asiatic black bear, one of the species most commonly farmed for bile, is listed as Vulnerable to extinction on the IUCN Red List.

Vietnam, which is reportedly also considering a ban of wildlife trade as a measure to stem the COVID-19 outbreak, is a major producer of bear bile, a digestive fluid produced by the liver and stored in the that must be extracted via invasive surgical techniques. Bear bile extraction has been illegal in Vietnam since 2005, but owners of bears were allowed to keep the animals they already had in captivity. Today, Vietnam’s bear bile farms are in decline due to low demand, as practitioners of traditional medicine prefer bile from wild bears to farmed bear bile.

Conservationists are hopeful that China could be moving toward a permanent ban on wildlife trade, which would require further legislative action. If a permanent ban were to become reality, conservationists say, that would provide a huge boost to the fight against the around the globe, given that China is a major consumer country of trafficked animals.

“At this moment in history, as the world is crippled by the coronavirus pandemic, the public health and environmental risks of wildlife trade are rightly receiving unprecedented attention,” White said. “There could be no better time to end the use of the parts of threatened wildlife in medicine, especially as recent surveys conducted in China showed the vast majority of respondents were opposed to use of wildlife in medicine. In doing so, China could become a genuine leader in conservation and we hope other countries would follow its example.”

This article by Mike Gaworecki was first published on .com on 23 March 2020.


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Irene Leggett
Irene Leggett

Once again that vile, depraved, brutal, sadistic, barbaric country, CHINA, and its brain-dead, psychotic government and masses are promoting their perverted, disgusting, sickening propaganda BS about false, bogus medicines. Have these ‘people’ finally lost their tiny, psychotic minds…..as if bear bile, crushed tiger bones, rhino horn and adrenaline-laden meat from tortured, abused dogs and cats are going to ‘cure all ailments and make the pathetic ‘men’ more virile??? Its time the rest of the world BOYCOTTED this cess-pit nation totally, this nation, that is slowly but surely destroying OUR planet, OUR only home and all that inhabits it……stop them before… Read more »

Linda Badham
Linda Badham

THEY ARE EVIL , PURE EVIL .NOT HUMAN IN MY EYES.DEVOID OF ANY COMPASSION. WE SHOULD BOYCOTT THE COUNTRY AND SO SHOULD WORLD LEADERS. NOBODY STANDS UP TO THEM.

Diane
Diane

Here we go again – the Chinese and their ridiculous take on animal parts for medicine. Bear bile falls into the same category as rhino horn, pangolin scales, pickled tiger etc. From a medicinal point of view UTTERLY USELESS WITH ABSOLUTELY NO MEDICINAL PROPERTIES.

Karen Lyons Kalmenson

Last time I looked this was the 21st century where scientific knowledge is supposed to override superstitious ignorance

Anda
Anda

Does anyone know if there is a petition on this, to ask the Chinese Government not to recommend and promote such a treatment?

Michele Jankelow
Michele Jankelow

Refer to Animals Asia website