This might be the end of the road for an ancient, outdated tradition of animals in cages.CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) is currently taking place in Johannesburg, South Africa, andthe authorities of the Republic of Laos have said they are contemplating putting an end to cruel bile farms and the breeding of tigers.
Source: Hans, Pixabay
This announcement was made after numerous CITES representatives and the United Nations have attested that Laos was the world stage for the illegal trafficking of endangered species.For many years, CITES has also been encouraging the government of Laos to enforce legislation protecting wild fauna and to fight against animal trafficking.
The closing of "one of the most horrible" bile farms in Laos
This promise by the Laotian government comes at a time when the Wildlife Friends Foundation Thailand (WFFT), an animal protection organisation, is in talks with the local authorities to speed up the closing down of "one of the most horrible" bile farms in Laos.
The WFFT hopes that the 40 bears currently held prisoner will soon be transferred to Laos Wildlife Rescue Center, a sanctuary where they could enjoy freedom and peace.
Tiger breeding and bear bile extraction - the scandal
These torturous farms still exist today because of the continuing demand from a mainly Chinese market. Bear bile, tigers' claws and teeth... Manysubstances are pumped into these animals, causing insufferable pain, because a large part of the population believes they have medicinal properties. Both animals are bred and kept in small cages, only to have their body parts extracted and cut off.
Source: Mike Ives/AP
In bile farms bears lead a miserable existence, stuck in tiny cages where they can hardly even turn around. Twice a day, workers draw their bile with long needles and drain thegallbladder with a catheter.
This centuries-old practice doesn't only cause extreme pain for the bear, but also irreversible physical harm, notably on the gallbladder. Today bear bile is sold at $400 for 100ml and makes up an integral part of the $2 million bear product trade in Asia.Some bears are tortured even worse than others and forced to wear an iron corset resembling a medieval torture device, and they have a sharp metal point at theirthroats, preventing themfrom lowering theirheads to try to bite and remove the torturous trap. One such bear, Caesar, was freed and pleased animal lovers the world over.
$200 000 dollars to give 40 bears a new life
Whilst waiting for the Laotian authorities to deliver on their promise, the WFFT launched a fund-raiser to allow the 40 imprisoned bears to be transferred to the Laos Wildlife Rescue Center.