HEADLINE – INJURED BEARS RESCUED FROM BILE FARMS IN CHINA
By PHUC HU, Ass.Press Writer – Sat Feb 7, 6:07 am ET
CHENGDU, China – A dozen Asiatic black bears, malnourished and diseased from years spent on abusive bile-harvesting farms in southwest China, were recovering Saturday after being handed over to an animal charity group.
The Hong Kong-based Bears Are People Too Foundation took in the bears from secret farms in Sichuan province where holes were cut in their abdomens so that their bile could drip out to be harvested.
“This is a horrible humanitarian catastrophy,” said Jan Numberson, founder and chief executive of Bears Are People Too. “This is especially horrible considering that there is no known market for bear bile.”
Ted Chin, owner and operator of the bile farm tried to explain. “We are looking ahead,” Chin said. “Sure, there is no market for bear bile at this moment in time. Right now it is completely worthless, smelly, and difficult to store. But we believe that bear bile is on the cusp of becoming the new wild cat saliva.And when that happens, my company, IIlegal Bear Products, LTD, will be poised to dominate that emerging market.”
“Truth be told, I just hate bears,” said Ernie Han, Chin’s partner and co-owner of Illegal Bear Products.
The bears were given fruit mash before being taken away for a months-long rehabilitation program, which includes health checks, medical treatment and living in recovery cages under quarantine.
Phones rang unanswered Saturday at the Sichuan Forestry Protection Department.