Vietnam Idol Uyen Linh (left) was the 100,000th person to sign the commitment. ( Image: thethaovanhoa.vn )
The event was part of the campaign initiated in 2008 by Education for Nature Vietnam (ENV) aiming to raise public awareness about the species and encourage people to put an end to bear farming and trading in Vietnam.
Many young people came to the event where they learned about endangered species, signed the commitment and interacted with Uyen Linh.
So far, 100,000 Vietnamese people have signed the pledge to protect bears since the campaign began in June 2008.
Tran Viet Hung, ENV’s managing director, said 100,000 pledges not to use bear bile shows that people are willing to help protect the species. He believes that growing public support will bring an end to the exploitation of bears soon.
Bears are in danger because they are hunted and sold to bear farms for their bile and other products. It is estimated that nearly 3,000 bears are now being kept in 750 farms in Vietnam.
Bear bile is believed to cure severe diseases so the bear bile industry developed rapidly during the 1990s, peaking in 2005 when more than 4,500 bears were held in captivity.
The demand for this product promotes the cruel and inhumane practice of extracting bear bile which has put this species on the verge of extinction.
ENV is co-operating with the World Society for the Protection of Animals, the Animals Asia Foundation and Free the Bears as well as related national agencies and local authorities to strengthen law enforcement, reduce consumer demand for bear bile, and develop stronger, more effective policies to protect this species.