Underreported: Bear Bile Farming in China

Thursday, April 12, 2012

In China, Asiatic black bears are kept in cages for their bile, which is valued in Asian medicine. Jill Robinson, the founder and CEO of Animals Asia, who appears in the documentary "Cages of Shame," talks about bear bile farming and bear rescue efforts.

"Cages of Shame" premiers at the Rubin Museum of Art April 14.


Jill Robinson

Comments [8]

Nina Council from Oregon

I first learned of the horror of these poor bears about 2 years ago, and have been keeping up to date on what is going on. My god all who can get information onto television about this horrid tragedy, these cruel practices (which are totally unecessary, bear bile does nothing for humans), must speak about, and describe clearly the horror of all this. What the hell is wrong with humans to allow such practices. Cultural or not cultural, this is 2012 and such cruelties, in fact many of todays cultural cruelties must cease. Its a world in crisis, and mankind must awaken.

Apr. 27 2012 03:10 PM
carl, queens, n.y.

it's incomprehensible, how uncivilized we humans can be... the people responsible for these acts of cruelty are savages... we need to invent an empathy boster vaccine administered to all... jill robinson, i love you...

Apr. 13 2012 12:23 PM
Aeriadne from NYC

Hi, Magggie - though I know exactly what you mean when you speak about the gentle connotation of the word "milking," the sad reality for a lot of dairy cows is the same as these bears: they are often confined to stalls with barely enough room to move around and experience a lack of adequate welfare. Not to mention their abnormally large udders makes it extremely difficult for them to move properly. They might not experience the same level of intrusive pain as the bears, but their husbandry conditions might not be all that far apart.

Apr. 12 2012 02:46 PM

I knew this practice existed but had no idea how horrific it is! thank you, Leonard for bringing this to our awareness.
Can the guest tell us what listeners may be able to do, or where to write, etc. to help end this pracice?

ps a suggestion to those working to help the bears: don't use the term "milking" it makes this sound almost benign.

Apr. 12 2012 02:22 PM
Aeriadne from NYC

John, what happens in Asia with certain animals is really no different than what we do in industrial farm practices in the West and especially in the US - and not just those raised for human consumption. Pets like parrots (who are wild animals even if they are bred in captivity), rodents like hamsters, etc. are largely bred in mills in pretty horrific conditions. Ending puppy and kitten mills isn't enough - it needs to apply to all animals that humans exploit, and as a global society we all need to revise how we treat animals across all spectrums and cultures.

Apr. 12 2012 01:58 PM
Sophie from Poughkeepsie, NY

Lenny, would you please stop interrupting, let the guest finish a sentence!

Apr. 12 2012 01:54 PM
Aeriadne from NYC

I work with news picture wires and have seen horrific images of this practice of bile collection (which sadly never are published, at least in here in the States) - it is an unbelievably inhumane existence that these bears lead and the photographs are incredibly difficult to look at.

Apr. 12 2012 01:52 PM
john from office

What is it with Asian culture with the eating of dogs or this act of hurting a bear. I love animals and hate these stories.Look at the whole Ivory trade that is endangering elephants!!.

Apr. 12 2012 01:52 PM

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