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   Sep 17

Chinese pharmacies take significant step to end bear bile farming

Excellent news as the tide is really turning on supplying bear bile products that cause terrible harm to wild bears.

Thousands of Chinese pharmacies reject bear bile products.


Animals Asia has announced that over 1,900 Chinese pharmacies have joined its Healing Without Harm programme – pledging to turn their backs on bear bile products.

The news was released to the Chinese and international media at a press conference today (Monday, September 15th, 2014) in China’s Hunan province.

In the past year, the campaign has increased the number of bear bile free shops and pharmacies from around 260 in August 2013 to 1,945 today.

We’ve had several stories about the use of bear bile as part of Traditional Chinese Medicine. It’s possible that the traditional recipes will still be sought if there is not convincing evidence to show that alternatives will work. In this case, the bear bile does have medicinal properties but only for specific uses such as to break down gallstones and to treat an autoimmune disease of the liver. Bear parts are still sold for uses that have no scientific basis.

For the first time, this conference was attended by a representative of the Chinese food and drug arm of government. Does this mean a real shift away from this product? The organizers of this campaign have been after pharmacy chains to sign on and they are extremely pleased with those that have joined in the program. Synthetic bear bile, or ursodeoxycholic acid, is used medicinally. Because it can be synthesized, there is less need to extract it from live animals who are kept in deplorable captive conditions. Even the Journal of Chinese Medicine touts alternatives to using bile from bears. This barbaric extraction technique, hopefully, is on the way out.

Is 2014 the turning point year to end bear bile farming?

Source: Doubtful News

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