Thursday, January 12, 2006

The European Parliament has passed a resolution demanding pressure on China to ban the farming of bears for bile.

Bile bear torture is a particularly nasty form of cruelty. Unfortunately, most Chinese think it’s ok (just like torturing and eating cats and dogs).

You can judge for yourself. More information on bile bears can be found at http://www.animalsasia.org/

MEPs demand action on [bile] bear farms

The European Parliament has passed a resolution demanding pressure on
China to ban the farming of bears for bile.


http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/4598508.stm

The bile is extracted from the caged bears' gallbladder by means of a
metal catheter, then sold for use in Chinese medicines and cosmetics.

The resolution was approved by more than half of the parliament's 732
members, with cross-party support.

"We want China to shut all the bear farms before the 2008 Olympics," said
British Labour MEP Peter Skinner.

Bile shampoo

He said that he and the other MEPs who tabled the resolution wanted China
to know that the way a country treats animals shaped the way it is
perceived in the rest of the world.

It is an added disgrace that an oversupply of bile is being used in
products with no medicinal value
Labour MEP Peter Skinner
"While there is obviously a lot of attention on China's human rights
record, we do not want animal welfare to be forgotten," he said.
"It is an added disgrace that an oversupply of bile is being used in
products with no medicinal value such as shampoos, skin cream and wine."

Now that the resolution has been passed, the European Commission and each
of the EU member states are obliged to take action.

The Chinese government has already closed down some farms, but according
to the MEPs, there are still about 200 in the country, keeping more than
7,000 Asiatic Black Bears in captivity.

Illegal in the EU

The bears, also known as Moon Bears, can expect to live for up to 30 years
in the wild, but life expectancy falls to 10-12 years in a cage.

Bear bile is illegal throughout the European Union, but is sometimes found
during police raids in London's Chinatown.

The resolution was tabled after MEPs on the parliament's animal welfare
inter-group - which includes members of non-governmental organisations,
such as the Royal Society for the Protection of Animals - met Jill
Robinson of Animals Asia, who set up a bear sanctuary in China in 2000.



Story from BBC NEWS:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/2/hi/europe/4598508.stm

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