HANOI (Oct. 1, 2012) — Two bear cubs have been seized from smugglers in Lai Chau province in northern Vietnam by local police, and transferred into the care of Animals Asia by the local Forest Protection Department. The two traffickers, who were illegally transporting the bears in Than Uyen district, have been arrested.
Animals Asia has transported the cubs to its Vietnam Bear Rescue Centre in Tam Dao, near Hanoi, where they will be provided with the care they need. The cubs are Asiatic black bears, also known as moon bears. The two cubs, both male, weigh approximately 12kg and 9kg. Their exact age is unknown.
The local police spotted a suspicious motorbike being ridden by two men carrying a cane basket in a remote village. They stopped the bike and found the two cubs in the basket. The men told the police they had bought the cubs for US$1,500 and were going to resell them to an unknown buyer from Lao Cai, the bordering province. It is thought likely that the cubs were on their way to a bear farm in China, owing to the close proximity of Lao Cai to China.
“The Lai Chau police and local authorities are to be congratulated for enforcing the law, and ensuring the welfare of these cubs,” said Tuan Bendixsen, Vietnam Director, Animals Asia. “Because of the early intervention and proper care of the forest protection department, both cubs are doing very well and looking healthy.”
Animals Asia embarked on a 24 hour round trip to collect and transport the bear cubs from Lai Chai, a province that borders China, and is approximately 450km north west of Hanoi. The journey was lengthened by terrible road conditions following recent flooding.
There are over 10,000 bears – mainly moon bears but also others such as Malayan sun bears and brown bears – kept on bile farms in China, and around 2,400 in Vietnam. They’re “milked” regularly for their bile, which is stored in the gall bladder. The bile is used as a form of medicine, even though many herbal and synthetic alternatives are available. Starved, dehydrated and riddled with ailments, the bears suffer a living hell.
Animals Asia is working to end bear bile farming in China and Vietnam, where bears are kept in small cages for up to 30 years so their bile can be extracted through catheters, needles and open wounds.
Animals Asia is devoted to ending the barbaric practice of bear bile farming and improving the welfare of animals in China and Vietnam. It promotes compassion and respect for all animals and work to bring about long-term change.
The Animals Asia team has been rescuing bears from the bear bile industry since 1994 and is the only organization with a bear sanctuary in China. Our founder and CEO, Jill Robinson MBE, is widely recognized as the world’s leading expert on the cruel bear bile industry, having campaigned against it since 1993.
The work focuses on three major programs: End Bear Bile Farming to end the barbaric bear bile trade, which sees more than 14,000 bears kept in cages on farms throughout China and Vietnam.
Cat and Dog Welfare works to end the trade in dogs and cats for food and inhumane dog and cat population management, and lobbies for the introduction of laws and regulations to improve the welfare of cats and dogs in China.
Zoos and Safari Parks campaigns for an end to abusive animal practices in zoos and safari parks, and works closely with governing authorities to improve animal management and ensure the welfare needs of captive animals are being met.
Further information can be found on our website: http://www.animalsasia.org/