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The Chinese media has reported on an extraordinary account of a mother bear saving her cub from a life of torture by strangling it and then killing itself.

The bears were kept in a farm located in a remote area in the North-West of China. The bears on the farm had their gall bladders milked daily for 'bear bile,' which is used as a remedy in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM).

It was reported that the bears are kept in tiny cages known as 'crush cages', as the bears have no room to manoeuvre and are literally crushed.

The bile is harvested by making a permanent hole or fistula in the bears' abdomen and gall bladder.

As the hole is never closed, the animals are suspect to various infections and diseases including tumours, cancers and death from peritonitis.

The bears are fitted with an iron vest, as they often try to kill themselves by hitting their stomach as they are unable to bear the pain.

A person who was on the farm in place of a friend witnessed the procedures and told Reminbao.com that they were inhumane.

The witness also claimed that a mother bear broke out its cage when it heard its cub howl in fear before a worker punctured its stomach to milk the bile.

The workers ran away in fear when they saw the mother bear rushing to its cub's side.

Unable to free the cub from its restraints, the mother hugged the cub and eventually strangled it.

It then dropped the cub and ran head-first into a wall, killing itself.

Many TCM practitioners have denounced the use of bear bile in their treatment as there are cheaper herbs and synthetics that can be used in its place.

Bear bile is traditionally used to remove 'heat' from the body as well as treat high fever, liver ailments and sore eyes.

Source: http://news.asiaone.com

Letter to
People's Republic of China National Government:
President of the People's Republic of China His Excellency, Hu Jintao
I am shocked and saddened to learn that a mother bear saving her cub from a life of torture by strangling it and then killing itself.

The bears were kept in a farm located in a remote area in the North-West of China. The bears on the farm had their gall bladders milked daily for 'bear bile,' which is used as a remedy in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM).

It is commonly acknowledged that the bear farming industry is extremely cruel, causing great suffering to the bears and confining them lifelong to small cages, resulting in very serious physical and psychological damage and ultimately an agonising death.

I have also learned with great sadness that China still allows the existence of the bear farming industry. This industry and its cruel practices have caused and will continue to cause damage in the international community to the reputation and image of Traditional Chinese Medicine and of China and the Chinese people, a stain on their standing.

Therefore, I urge you to take this into account and close all the farms.
I respectfully request you to consider the issues I have raised and my concerns. Thank you.

Yours sincerely,