Vietnam's 40th province now ‘bear bile farm-free’


Three captive Asiatic bears have been rescued from the horrific abuse of bear bile farming in Lang Son province in North Vietnam. They were the last remaining bile bears in Lang Son and the province is now the 40th bear-free province in Vietnam.

Thanks to your continued support, there has been a 90% reduction in the number of bile bears in Vietnam

Image thanks to Nguyen Van Tuyen

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Through your support, World Animal Protection, Education for Nature Vietnam (ENV) and Animals Asia Foundation came together with local authorities for the rescue on Friday, 25 June 2021.

The three bears will now live out the rest of their lives at a sanctuary run by Animals Asia Foundation in Vinh Phuc, 60 km northwest of Hanoi.

Originally named Mila, Minu and Misa by their owner, the bears have now been renamed by Animals Asia Foundation to represent their new cruelty-free lives, and at the sanctuary they will go by Hy vọng (meaning ‘hope’), Tương lai (meaning ‘future’), and Vui (meaning ‘joy’).

Sadly, two of the bears are missing a paw and, according to the bear owner, the paws were already severed when they purchased the bears from a trader. It is believed they were caught in traps in the wild when they were only cubs.

Maya Pastakia, Global Campaign Manager – Wildlife, Not Medicine, at World Animal Protection said:

“Bear bile farming is illegal in Vietnam, but this hasn’t stopped the suffering of the remaining hundreds of bears who still live a torturous life in captivity for their bile.

“These bears were kept in tiny cages - not much larger than a telephone booth – for as long as 21 years. While they are the ‘lucky ones’ who are now free from cruelty, the scars from their extreme physical and psychological suffering will last their lifetime.

“The government of Vietnam must close all remaining legal loopholes for good to end the barbaric practice of bear bile farming.”