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People's Daily Online>>China Society

Bear bile rivals claw away

By Deng Jingyin (Global Times)

09:03, February 17, 2012

Amid the public outcry against the listing attempt of a Fujian-based company which produces medicine from bear bile, the China Association of Traditional Chinese Medicine (CATCM) argued Thursday that China uses a painless technique to extract bear bile, which does not affect the animals' health.

"The online comments and pictures showing the bile being cruelly extracted from live bears, such as through a duct implanted in a bear's abdomen, seriously misled the public, since that method has been abandoned in China for 20 years," Fang Shuting, director of the CATCM, said at a press conference held in Beijing Thursday.

The Beijing Loving Animals Foundation (BLAF), together with more than 70 celebrities, recently signed a petition opposing an IPO listing application submitted by Guizhentang, also known as Greetown, which owns the largest black bear breeding center in South China.

When bile-extraction techniques were introduced to China, some farms used surgically-implanted metal tubes, causing tremendous pain to the animals. Since the 1980s, China developed a painless technique to get the bile that does not involve a duct, Fang explained. "When I visited the bear farm, I found that some bears used for bile lapped honey and milk after the process. They were comfortable," Fang said.

Sun Quanhui, an expert on animal behavior from the International Fund for Animal Welfare, refuted that the animals could be comfortable after having bile extracted.

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