Target: Vietnamese President Truong Tan Sang
Goal: Stop endangered bears from being captured and grossly mistreated for the obtainment of bear bile.
Vietnam poachers hold hostage around 4,000 bears in bear farms in order to extract bile from them—a profitable product with increasing demand in Vietnam. Bear bile is used as a multipurpose medicine in Asia, so bears are ‘milked’ for their bile in excess to keep up with demand, hunting them into endangerment. Preventing this practice would involve Asia lessening its dependence on bear bile products and increasing its regulations on poachers.
At the age of three, a bear starts producing bile, a substance that is extracted from its gall bladder. Farmers extract the bile with steel catheters that are inserted into the bear’s stomach. When the bear is being milked for bile, it is kept in a cage so small it can barely move–a place referred to as a “crush cage.” This is done because bears have been known to moan, pound their heads against their cages, and chew their paws during the extremely painful extraction process, so bear farmers want them as confined as possible. The surgery is usually practiced by farmers with no veterinarian training causing many bears to suffer and die. Research indicates that for every 2 successful procedures, there are another 2-3 bear deaths from ensuing complications and infections.
Bear bile serves many believed purposes in Asia, including curing fever, reducing inflammation, improving eyesight, maintaining healthy liver, breaking down gallstones, etc. Even though many of these uses can be achieved with modern medicine, the demand for bear bile continues to increase, causing most of Asia’s bear population to exist in breeding farms, while the rest are hunted down in the forests.
At anywhere from five to ten years of age, bears stop producing bile. The Vietnamese then slaughter the bears and sell their paws and gall bladders. In Asia, bear paws are considered a delicacy and can be priced at hundreds of dollars in restaurants. If not, the bear no longer has use to the farmer, and is often left to die from starvation or disease.
Stop this mass animal abuse immediately by pressuring the Vietnam government to end their excessive use of bear bile products and to take more serious action to regulate poachers.
Dear President Truong Tan Sang,
The Vietnamese bear bile industry is only growing worse, and it must be regulated to stop animal smuggling, poaching, and endangerment. Bear farming is illegal on paper, but Vietnamese bear farmers are hunting bears excessively. This law needs stricter enforcement, as crime will only rise with farmers getting more and more desperate for bears to hunt.
The process of bile extracting is painful, abusive, and immoral. Bears are trapped in cages so small that they cannot move a muscle, and catheters are shoved into them remorselessly each day. They are left to be injured or dead at any time during initial capture, extraction, or when they have matured past bile age.
Products that use bear bile can often be replaced with modern medicines that have the same effects. Regulate, or even ban main bile products that fuel the bear bile market. Urge your citizens, merchants, and bear farmers to stop hunting bears for bile and to shift the marketplace toward more sustainable and ethically obtained medicines.
[Your Name Here]