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FOUR PAWS global launch of ‘How much can you bear?’

Worldwide campaign gathers over half a million signatures condemning abuse of “bile bears” in Vietnam

Sydney, 5th October 2017 – Animal welfare organisation FOUR PAWS has launched the new phase for its international campaign to end bear farming in Vietnam.

FOUR PAWS has released an interactive video entitled “How much can you bear?”. The video allows viewers to test themselves to see how long they can stand to watch shocking scenes of bears’ bile being illegally extracted on Vietnamese bile bear farms. The special interactive microsite was built to monitor when someone stops watching the video, delivering a message with their ‘score’ for the test, and the sad reality that for many bears this painful experience lasts a lifetime.

Take the test:

“The video is a powerful reminder of the tragic reality many bears face in the bile trade. We are hoping that everyone who takes part in “How much can you bear?” will be moved to say No to this cruel practice, and sign the petition,” says Jeroen van Kernebeek, Country Director of FOUR PAWS Australia.

Around 1,300 bile bears endure miserable lives in Vietnamese farms and private backyards, locked up in cramped metal cages. Research carried out by FOUR PAWS shows that many of the bears have their bile cruelly extracted to meet the insatiable illegal bear bile trade on Vietnam’s streets, in traditional Chinese medicine shops, on the farms themselves, or on the Internet. Watch a FOUR PAWS video about this trade here.

Bear bile has been used for several thousand years as an elixir in traditional Chinese medicine, and remains a sought-after product for treating haematomas, eye conditions and digestion problems in many Asian countries despite effective herbal and synthetical alternatives.

Over half a million people around the world have already lodged their protest against the bears’ mistreatment by signing the FOUR PAWS petition “Save the saddest bears: End bear farming in Vietnam”.

“To be able to send a strong message to the Vietnamese government, FOUR PAWS aims to bring the voices of one million people across the world who have signed the petition to the Vietnamese government,” states Kieran Harkin, Head of International Wild Animal Campaigns at FOUR PAWS.

In addition to campaigning for an end to bear farming by 2020, FOUR PAWS is currently constructing a new state-of-the-art sanctuary in Vietnam that will eventually be able to offer a home to a hundred of the bears, while also giving the public in Vietnam the opportunity to come and learn about bears and see them in a species-appropriate environment. The new bear sanctuary will soon open its doors to the first bears in urgent need of rescue.