VIER PFOTEN App nun für Iphone/Ipad und Android erhältlich

VIER PFOTEN App Download für


FOUR PAWS rescues first bears for its new sanctuary in Ninh Binh, Vietnam

Sydney, 7.11.2017 – International animal welfare organisation FOUR PAWS has brought the first Asian black bears to its new BEAR SANCTUARY Ninh Binh in north-eastern Vietnam. FOUR PAWS plans to eventually accommodate up to 100 suffering bears to its newly constructed own, species-appropriate sanctuary.


Among the three animals first rescued was bear Hai Chan, who before the rescue mission led a sad existence as a so-called “bile bear”. In agonising pain, her bile, which is considered to be valuable for its use in traditional Chinese medicine, was regularly extracted. Although this practice has been officially banned in Vietnam since 1992, there are still around 400 farms housing an estimated 1,300 bears in total.


The past ten years have left their mark on the former bile bear Hai Chan, who suffers from stress disorders, enlarged adrenal glands and two missing front paws. In collaboration with the local government, FOUR PAWS finally put an end to the suffering of the Vietnamese bear.


"Hai Chan spent most of her life on a farm in a tiny metal cage in a filthy and poorly ventilated room. Not only were the keeping conditions miserable, but also the lack of nutrition and the painful bile extraction procedure have taken a huge toll on the bear. We also assume that her paws were amputated and used to produce bear paw wine. Finally, her owner realised that Hai Chan deserves a better life," commented Kieran Harkin, Head of International Wild Animals Campaigns at FOUR PAWS.


The animal welfare organisation brought Hai Chan, together with two other bears named Thai Van and Thai Giang – who were rescued from another farm – to the newly constructed BEAR SANCTUARY Ninh Binh. There, the first three residents of the newly opened sanctuary can expect comprehensive veterinary care and a life without torment.


After several weeks in quarantine during which the bears will be further examined, Thai Van, Thai Giang and Hai Chan will be released into their outdoor enclosures.


New start in the BEAR SANCTUARY Ninh Binh

After almost a year of hard work, the first construction phase of the new FOUR PAWS sanctuary in north-eastern Vietnam was recently completed. The area with four large outdoor enclosures for over 40 bears currently covers four hectares. On the property, there are also two bear houses with indoor boxes, a quarantine and a veterinary station, a bear kitchen and an administrative building. When completed, the BEAR SANCTUARY Ninh Binh will provide a species-appropriate home for up to 100 rescued bears.


The bear bile business

Bear bile has been used as a remedy in traditional Chinese medicine for several thousand years and is still a sought-after product in many Asian countries. Although the sale and consumption of bear bile is banned in Vietnam, an estimated 1,300 bears are still suffering on around 400 farms. Due to the regular, brutal extraction of bile and the lack of veterinary care, the bears suffer from various diseases such as infections, abscesses, blood poisoning and liver cancer. The extremely poor keeping conditions on the bear farms also lead to serious behavioural disorders such as self-mutilation.


Joint mission against animal cruelty

In 2005 the government launched a campaign to phase out bear farming in Vietnam through attrition. All captive bears were registered and microchipped as part of an effort to ensure that no new bears entered farms. The bears, which remained the property of the state, were to be looked after by the farmers until their transfer to a local sanctuary or natural death. Bear farmers were also required to sign a declaration to never again extract bile. In 2017 the Vietnamese government also issued a statement of their intent to end bear farming and begin rescuing bears.


In addition to support and conduct own rescue missions, FOUR PAWS has also launched an international campaign. Animal lovers worldwide can sign a petition to encourage the Vietnamese government to do whatever it takes to put an end to bear farming: Over 580,000 signatures have already been collected.