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Mass evacuation of Halong Bay bile bears begins

 

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© Animals Asia

 

Animals Asia will begin the mass evacuation of captive bears from Vietnam’s Quang Ninh province – on Tuesday 23rd June, with at least 14 bears to be freed from the illegal bile trade. The 14 moon bears are presently spread out over 10 farms in the region, which is home to World Heritage site Halong Bay. Animals Asia’s expects the rescue to continue for four days, concluding on Friday 26th. Animals Asia’s Vietnam Director Tuan Bendixsen said: “We’ve been working since 2007 to end bear bile farming in Halong Bay – pushing year after year to educate tourists against the use of bear bile and working with the local authorities to build a relationship. That has intensified since late last year when we started pushing hard for a remit to rescue these long-suffering animals. We are relieved that the first large scale transfer of bears can now finally take place. “Logistically it’s very difficult to be dealing with so many bears – many of whom will be suffering from serious physical and mental health issues – and so many different locations. But we’re well prepared and can rely on what is likely one of the most experienced bear rescue teams in the world.”

 

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© Animals Asia

 

Local authorities have been ordered to ensure every captive bear in Quang Ninh province is transferred to Animals Asia’s Vietnam Bear Rescue Centre in Tam Dao by end of July. But rescue missions have been delayed as the authorities negotiate with bear owners over the transfers. Since a prime ministerial decree in March this year announced every bear in the province must be transferred, three have been rescued by Animals Asia while five have died leaving 30 bears in the province.

The local authorities are continuing to negotiate the release of the 16 bears remaining in captivity in Quang Ninh province. The negotiations are entirely between the Quang Ninh authorities and the bear farmers and will not involve Animals Asia at any stage.

Animals Asia founder and CEO, Jill Robinson MBE said: “At long last we can start to move these damaged animals back to the sanctuary which has been waiting for them every day for the last seven months. In that time 35 bears have tragically died in the province. It’s unconscionable, but now we must look forward. We have to get this group back to the medical care they so urgently need, while we wait for the authorities to secure the release of the remaining bears. We can only ask that this is done as quickly as possible so that no more of these precious animals die needlessly.”

Since November 2014, 35 bears have died in Quang Ninh, while three have been rescued leaving just 30 alive in the entire province. The epidemic of captive bear deaths in Quang Ninh mirrors a nationwide trend. Statistics from the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development reveal 700 captive bears died between 2014 and March this year throughout Vietnam. The statistics showed that 1,245 bears remain on bear bile farms in Vietnam. Bear bile farming has been illegal in Vietnam since 1992, when Decree 18/HDBT made the trapping of endangered species from the wild illegal.

 

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© Animals Asia

 

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Creation date : 23/06/2015 : 11:33
Last update : 03/10/2015 : 15:42
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You are here :   Welcome » Mass evacuation of Halong Bay bile bears begins
 
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