A step closer to ending the cruel bear bile industry in Vietnam

18 December 2014

More than 80 captive bears are a step closer to freedom from the illegal bear bile tourism industry in Vietnam. It highlights the immensely positive impact your support has on animals suffering cruelty around the world.

Thousands of bears are suffering in the desperately cruel and unnecessary bear bile industry throughout Asia, and thanks to your incredible support, we’ve already had an impact on this terrible practice. You’ve helped expose the cruelty of the trade helping us to influence over 100,000 Vietnamese people to abandon bear bile use. There are currently 3,500 volunteers enlisted to report bear abuse in Vietnam and we’re currently working with local governments to help them change policies.

Success takes perseverance

Our local partner Education for Nature Vietnam (ENV) has been working for six years to expose illegal bear bile activities in one of Vietnam's most popular tourist spots, Ha Long Bay.

In late 2013, after intense surveillance and monitoring, ENV produced solid evidence, with our support, that the bear bile tourist industry was operating in the area. This evidence has prompted the local authority, the Quang Ninh People's Committee, to call for an end to the bear bile tourism industry in the region for good.

The Committee has set up a task force to prevent tourists from visiting bear bile facilities and to protect bears being exploited for their bile. The last two remaining facilities selling bear bile have now been permanently closed to tourists, signalling an end to this inhumane, unnecessary and illegal tourism industry here.

Continued monitoring will ensure that the industry doesn’t migrate to other well-known hot spots and that illegal activity doesn’t resume.

Luke Nicholson, our Bears in the Wild Project Manager, says: "Bears are wild animals, they belong in the wild, yet these animals are forced to suffer a lifetime in captivity for use in traditional medicine.

"This action in Ha Long Bay, a hugely popular tourist destination, is sending out a clear message that it is totally unacceptable to exploit wild animals for profit.

"We will continue to work with governments, partners and individuals, to drive legislation, policy, enforcement and monitoring, to end the exploitation of wild animals."

Thanks to you, and thousands of other animal lovers around the world, the cruel and unnecessary suffering of bears trapped in the bear bile industry is coming to an end in Vietnam.

Find out how you can help stop the exploitation of wild bears in the bear bile industry.