Premier Hu Jintao: It's 2011. Stop Torturing Bears For Their Bile

Chinese "Moon Bear"
A murder-suicide happens with unfortunate regularity in the United States but this news item describes a horrific event that involved a mother bear and her cub and the life of torture that regularly takes place on Chinese bear farms where the bears have their gall bladders "milked" daily for bile and then sold at high prices for use in Traditional Chinese Medicine.

In January, 2006, the EU demanded that China stop the inhumane practice. According to the article, Wang Wei, deputy director-general of the Department of Wildlife Conservation, said: “We have introduced painless practices for extracting bear bile. Until we can find a good substitute we cannot accept the EU resolution that urges the elimination of bear farming.” He further said that China had closed most of its 480 bear farms and now keeps about 7,000 animals in 68 farms that meet new standards.

Obviously, that's bullshit, and hopefully Premier Hu Jintao will introduce Wang Wei to the inside of one of those crushing cages where the bears are held or at least fire him for sustaining these types of practices that keep the Peoples Republic of China in the dark ages instead of helping it move forward to attain true superpower status. With all due respect, Premier Hu, your country's national symbol - the giant Panda - is a member of the bear family. Why should the rest of the world respect China when it tolerates the torture of animals related to its national symbol?

If you're like me and feel compelled to do something to help, I recommend that you make a monthly commitment to this organization Animals Asia, based in Hong Kong. They've been engaged in bear rescue for many years and deserve your support.