Korean Government Forced to Confront Bear bile Farming Issue
(Seoul, South Korea, September 17, 2010)
As Korean officials grapple with issue of the swiftly dwindling population of the Asiatic Black bear, or ‘Moonbear’, both government officials and residents rally to bring about an end to bear bile farming in Korea. This month, National Assembly Hong Heedeok has tabled a bill that could result in the phase out of South Korea’s bear farming industry.
At this early stage it is understood that the bill is fairly basic, but is expected to be further amended (and hopefully improved) by the Environment and Labor committee of the National Assembly (NA) and the relevant Ministries before a final version is either adopted or rejected (Green Korea United c/o The World Society for the Protection of Animals ‘WSPA’).
Until the bill has been amended and put through the Environment and Labor committee the true shape of any phase out is unlikely to be clear, however the government will now finally be forced to confront the issue officially and give a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answer to ending bear farming.
Awareness of the issue seems to be rising within Korea. A demonstration has been scheduled for November 6, 2010 at Seoul City Hall by ‘The Bear Truth’ Alliance, a non-profit organization comprised of citizens and expats to emphasize the public demand for representation at the upcoming G20 summit and an end to the trade.
There are fewer than 20 Asiatic Black Bears roaming the Korean wild today, and they are kept in a highly monitored region and marketed as a tourist attraction. In contrast to their numbers in the wild, a staggering 1200 suffer in terribly inhumane, highly unregulated conditions at bear bile farms, awaiting slaughter.
Korea remains one of 3 countries to allow this gruesome trade to continue, despite the safe and affordable option of artificial ursodeoxycholic acid (bear bile’s prized component), and its 54 herbal alternatives (WSPA).
The demand for bear gall has inspired a lucrative black market ring which has infiltrated neighboring countries, preying upon often uneducated citizens.
Bear Necessity Korea is an ally of Ursa Freedom Project ursafreedomproject.ning.com and is committed to ending the suffering and death of bears for products that can be made from herbs.