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People's Daily Online>>China Society

Bear-bile farm draws rebukes for visit proposal

By Zheng Jinran  (China Daily)

08:24, February 20, 2012

Retired basketball superstar Yao Ming pets a bear at the Longqiao Bear Rescue Center in Southwest China's Sichuan province on Saturday morning. The center rescued the bear from a factory that extracts bile from live captive bears to make traditional Chinese medicines. Provided to China Daily

BEIJING - A Chinese pharmaceutical company invited the public to visit its bear-bile farms to clear up concerns about maltreatment, but soon found that its website had been hacked.

Its move also drew questions and criticism from animal protection organizations.

Fujian Guizhentang Pharmaceuticals Co Ltd, which extracts bear bile to make traditional Chinese medicines, had been planning a stock market listing.

The plan was strongly opposed by animal protection organizations and many individuals who accused it of using cruelty to extract bile from bears.

The company claimed that the animal rights groups had no idea of current extraction methods, which were "easy and not hurtful", and it announced plans to open its farm to visits by media and experts on Wednesday and Friday.

In a public invitation posted on its website, the company said it expected to receive 100 people - media on Wednesday and experts on Friday - and let them see the living conditions of its captive bears and the process of extraction.

But within an hour after the invitation was posted on Saturday night, the website was hacked.

"It was repaired in the morning and we've reopened registration for everybody interested in this issue. The list of those who received an invitation is expected to be posted on the website on Sunday night," a female employee who said she was in charge of collecting information about visits told China Daily on Sunday.

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