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  • Post published:11/12/2021
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Breaking! Join Dr. Jane Goodall, Ricky Gervais & Many More In Taking Animals Asia’s Pledge To Save Moon Bears From Extinction In Vietnam

Global celebrities including Dame Judi Dench, Russell Crowe, Sir Paul McCartney, Joaquin Phoenix, and Richard Gere have come together to support Animals Asia’s efforts to save the Asiatic black bear, also known as the moon bear from extinction in Vietnam.

Bear bile farming has been illegal in Vietnam since 1992, but has persisted due to legal loopholes and demand. Tragically, these bears are usually poached from the wild as cubs, often brutally torn from their mothers. They are kept in tiny cages and have their bile extracted in the most painful ways imaginable, so it can be used in traditional medicine.

In 2017, after years of careful negotiation, the Vietnam government agreed to end bear bile farming once and for all and signed a historic Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Animals Asia, naming the charity their official partner in bringing the industry to an end.

Through their collaboration with the Vietnamese authorities to save bears poached and trafficked, besides those rescued from bear bile farms, Animals Asia recently saved its 651st bear.

As recently as November 29th, the Tủa Chùa Forest Protection Department in Vietnam confiscated a bear cub who was being trafficked across the border from Laos. Animals Asia immediately relocated the cub to its sanctuary to be cared for by its expert veterinary team. If the illegal traffickers are not intercepted, these bears can end up on a bear bile farm, in a circus, or caged as an exotic pet.

Now, the organization is gaining more momentum with its recently launched campaign which encourages people to take the Moon Bear Pledge.

“We’re on the cusp of ending bear bile farming in Vietnam forever, bringing to a close an industry that causes decades of suffering for beautiful, forgiving moon bears”, Animals Asia’s Founder and CEO Jill Robinson said in a video sent to WAN. “Together, we can make this historic change happen by putting kindness in action. Please join me and thousands of others in taking the Moon Bear Pledge.”

Kim Basinger, Andie MacDowell, Anjelica Huston, Matt Sorum, Kesha, Torrey Devitto, Mayim Bialik, and Jimmi Simpson are among those that have joined acclaimed conservationist Jane Goodall PhD, DBE, and wildlife activist Virginia McKenna in signing Animals Asia’s Moon Bear Pledge.

“I am so proud to be part of this pledge and to give my support to this campaign, rescuing the moon bear from the cruel practice of bile extraction,” stated Dame Judi Dench. “Animals Asia has taken a major step forward in partnership with the people of Vietnam to end this practice and secure a better future for these beautiful animals. Join me. Raise your paw for the moon bear, to finally end bear bile farming in Vietnam, and ensure that no bear is left behind.”

The most up-to-date surveys indicate that there are an estimated 400 bears on bile farms, but rescuing this number and providing them with sanctuary for the rest of their lives will require a huge effort. While Animals Asia’s Vietnam Bear Rescue Center in Tam Dao is now approaching its full capacity, a new sanctuary needs to be built before the organization can start rescuing the bears remaining on farms.

Animals Asia is about to break ground on its new sanctuary and is recruiting and training the staff to look after the bears for the rest of their lives. This 12-hectare sanctuary will sit within the beautiful mountainous surroundings of the Bach Ma National Park in central Vietnam and will eventually be home to the bears who still remain on bile farms.

”Overall, in Vietnam, there is no doubt that bear bile farming caused the massive decline in the wild bear population. We can save the wild bear population if we can end bear farming and rescue all farmed bears. This will stop the poaching and demand for wild bear cubs to restock the farms and allow wild bears to re-populate,” explained Animals Asia’s Vietnam Director Tuan Bendixsen, while emphasizing the importance of this new sanctuary for the conservation and rewilding of moon bears.

“Evidence to support this: 34% of the bears we rescued were either cubs or young adults of five years old or less. Forty of them were cubs who were only a few months old,” continued Bendixsen. “This data shows that there are still some wild bears in Vietnam, but unless bear farming is ended, they will eventually become extinct.”

According to the IUCN, “The most beneficial conservation measure for Asiatic Black Bears would be to substantially lessen the demand for bear products, and thus reduce hunting and trade.”

Animals Asia works to lessen the demand for bear products, by working with the traditional medicine community and other users of bear bile to promote herbal and synthetic alternatives. The organization also holds educational campaigns for the Vietnamese public and contributes to research in this area to promote herbal alternatives to bear bile.

Please pledge to help Animals Asia end the bear bile industry, close down all bile farms, and bring every last bear to a sanctuary by signing HERE! 

Donations to help Animals Asia build a new sanctuary for the remaining moon bears that need to be rescued can be made HERE!

You can help all animals and our planet by choosing compassion on your plate and in your glass. #GoVeg

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