Extracting bear bile for medicines in China draws anger
The practice of extracting bear bile from open wounds to use in traditional Chinese medicine has drawn the ire of Chinese celebrities, who are now calling on people to avoid products that use the substance.
Bears subject to bile removal live in harsh conditions and are often confined to living in small cages. Workers make an incision into the abdomen and pull down on the gallbladder, making it readily available. They then inject a catheter into it as many as three times a day to withdraw the bile juice.
The country’s largest producer of bear bile, Guizhentang Pharmaceutical has proposed tripling its stock of captive bears from 400 to 1,200, provoking a hardline response from opponents to the violent extraction process of bile.
The company had intentions of developing an initial public offering, but thanks to wildlife activism from celebrities such as basketball star Yao Ming, the company withdrew.
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