The northern province of Quang Ninh has proposed the agricultural ministry makes a plan to pay compensation to local bear farm owners and move all the animals to shelters, a local official said.
Under the proposal submitted to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, 364 Asiatic black bears at 41 farms will be transferred to bear rescue centers, said Nguyen Trinh Dong, chief of office at Quang Ninh police department.
The move comes after local environmental police last month raided Ha Long Town’s Viet Thai farm and caught nine people, including two South Koreans, engaged in the extraction of bear bile.
The finding prompted Animals Asia Foundation to launch a letter writing campaign requesting Vietnam to save the endangered bears kept captive for bile extraction in Ha Long Town. The organization said it had collected more 7,000 letters from across the world.
Dong said due to the lack of legal foundations for further investigation, Quang Ninh authorities have asked central judicial agencies for advice.
Vietnam is a signatory to the international convention on wildlife protection so it has to punish those who violate its terms within the country’s territory, the official stressed.
Bear bile farming was made illegal in Vietnam in 1992. The bile is used in traditional medicine for a range of “heat-related” ailments such as eye and liver diseases, according to the Animals Asia Foundation.
Source: Tuoi Tre