VietNamNet Bridge – Education for Nature Vietnam (ENV) on December 16 said that some bear farms in Quang Ninh province have illegally extracted and sold bear bile to tourists.
The information is proven through a video clip that was sent to ENV by South Korea’s KBS channel and recorded by a group of Korean tourists at bear farms in Quang Ninh,. The clip was shot last October and broadcasted on the Korean television channel.
The clip features the visits of Korean tourists to bile bear farms in Quang Ninh province to witness bile-extracting procedures and buy tiny packs of the fluid.
In the clip, Korean and other Asian tourists are led to a room where a Korean manager is introducing bear bile.
An anaesthetized bear is pulled out of its cage and taken to the room. After the visitors gathered around it, the bear was turned upside down.
The farm worker used an ultrasound machine to locate the gall bladder in the bear’s abdomen.
Then he inserted a long stainless steel needle into the bear's abdomen, using the ultrasound to guide the needle to the gall bladder.
The workers extracted a jar of bile and poured it into small packs which cost US$30 each.
The narrator said a visitor bought $500 worth of bile, while in another farm, a visitor bought $1,000 with $600 being paid to travel company and the rest to the bear farm’s owner.
The EVN said illegal tours to bear farms in Quang Ninh were discovered for the first time in 2007. These farms welcomed dozens of buses of Korean tourists a week, a survey said.
In October 2009, Quang Ninh’s environmental police raided a bear farm run by the Viet Thai Tourism Company and caught red handed Korean managers who were about to extract bile from a bear in front of a group of Korean visitors.
Relevant agencies seized six bears from two companies in Quang Ninh and fined Viet Thai company.
However, the above measures are not sufficient to prevent bear farms from breaking the rules.
Source: Tuoi Tre/SGTT/TTXVN