By SudOuest.fr with AFP
According to the Hanoi Nature Education Foundation, this is the largest seizure ever made in the country.
Vietnamese police have seized a record 350 bottles of bear bile, a substance used in traditional medicine, a wildlife organization said on Friday. Authorities in Vietnam, a hub for illegal wildlife trafficking, banned the extraction of bear bile in 2005. Existing farms were allowed to keep the animals they already owned, but apart from these cases, taking bile from a bear is punishable by five years in prison.
Police arrested a resident of Phuc Tho, a Hanoi suburb, last week as he was carrying 350 bottles of bear bile in his car. The man owned seven animals. According to the Hanoi Nature Education Foundation, this is the largest seizure ever made in the country. “This is the first time a bear owner in Hanoi has been arrested and criminally investigated for the illegal transportation and trade of bear bile,” the deputy chief said in a statement. of the foundation, Bui Thi Ha.
Three cubs and a bear rescued in the north of the country
According to the organization, there are nearly 150 bears locked in cages in Hanoi, half of the total livestock in the whole country. Traditional Vietnamese and Chinese medicine credit bear bile with the power to heal bruises and cancer and extend lifespan. In addition, the Animals Asia association said it had rescued three cubs and a 20-year-old bear in the mountainous provinces of Dien Bien and Son La in the north of the country in the past two days. The animals were transported to a shelter closer to Hanoi. Two of the cubs, which were in the hands of traffickers, weighed less than five kilograms. They need “immediate 24-hour care,” the association said.