Say "NO" to bear bile and other Chinese medicine ingredients taken from protected species. End brutal and unnecessary cruelty to animals.Read Now
In September 2014, the Department of Chinese Medicine and Pharmacy of the Ministry of Health and Welfare held a meeting to evaluate the use of Chinese medicine ingredients from protected species in Taiwan. The regulators held this meeting as several Chinese medicine ingredient importers had appealed to relax the ban on ingredients from protected animals. However, using bi-products from protected animals is unnecessary and can also be very cruel, specifically the extraction of bear bile which is one of the cruelest practices being used today. Bears are confined in narrow cages and bile is extracted through a tube implanted into the bears’ gall bladders. The process causes tremendous suffering to the bears. It is not uncommon for the bears to self-harm or in extreme cases, claw out their own gall bladder, because of the unbearable pain. Because the bears are kept alive to extract their bile, they are forced to endure this torture day after day, year after year.
Animals Asia, a leader in the fight against bear bile, states that research shows bile extracted by such methods is often contaminated with blood, pus, feces, urine, bacteria, and cancer cells, therefore poses a danger to human health. Furthermore, leaders in the Chinese Medicine and Pharmacology field have stated that the said curative effects of bear bile can - in fact - be found in many Chinese medicinal herbs. A synthetic substitute is also now available. It is now completely unnecessary to take bile from bears for use as a medicinal ingredient.
Upon learning of the meeting held by the Department of Chinese Medicine and Pharmacy of the Ministry of Health and Welfare, TSPCA immediately got in touch with regulators to inquire about the context of the meeting. TSPCA also sent official letters to the Ministry of Health and Welfare and the Council of Agriculture to voice our strong opposition as well as providing detailed accounts of exactly how bile is extracted from bears to expose the cruelty. Receiving no reply from the regulators, we called the Department of Chinese Medicine and Pharmacy again. After several rounds of telephone communications, we finally received the regulator’s conclusion that no further meetings of this nature would be convened in the future. TSPCA applauds the Taiwanese regulators’ decision to disallow the possibility of using products from protected species in traditional Chinese medicine. Lifting the import ban on Chinese medicinal ingredients from protected species would encourage illegal animal trading, hunting, and illegal manufacturing. Taiwan would consequently be seen as an island that supports cruelty, and many more innocent lives would be in danger.
As stipulated in the Wildlife Conservation Act, medicinal ingredients from protected animals shall not be traded, publicly exhibited, or displayed without regulatory approval. Anyone who comes across such illegal activities can report them to the 7th Special Police Corps, under the National Police Agency of the Ministry of the Interior. Moreover, in order to encourage people to be pro-active in the protections of animals, the Forestry Bureau provides a reward of up to NT$ 300,000 for the reporting of such illegal acts which result in apprehending offenders.
Taiwan SPCA would like to call upon everyone to say no to bear bile and other Chinese Medicine ingredients that come from protected species. Be proactive by speaking with your Chinese Medicine Doctor to voice your opposition of these types of products. Without the demand, there will be no market for such cruelty.
Wildlife Conservation Act: http://goo.gl/0gIqmn
Guidelines for Incentivizing the Investigation or Reporting on Violation against Wildlife Conservation Act: http://goo.gl/wwZqkj (Chinese ver.)
Where to report an illegal act: http://goo.gl/VndtZZ (Chinese ver.)