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Bear conservation: opinions need changing

In Uncategorized on November 24, 2010 at 1:51 pm

Bear conservation: opinions need changing

QĐND – Wednesday, November 24, 2010, 20:31 (GMT+7)

To save the Vietnamese bear population, the country should start a campaign to change people’s ideas about the properties of bear gall bladder and bile products.

This recommendation was put forward by Education for Nature Vietnam (ENV) at a press conference in Hanoi on November 23 to launch a report on attitudes and behaviour regarding the use of bear gall in Vietnam.

An ENV survey of more than 3,000 residents of three major cities – Hanoi, HCM City and Da Nang – shows that 22 percent of people interviewed said they have used bear gall. People with higher levels of education tend to use more bear gall than those with lower levels of education.

Many people consider bear gall a panacea for all diseases ranging from minor injuries and digestive problems to cancer. Up to 74 percent of interviewees said that using bear gall is not unlawful behaviour.

According to ENV, Vietnam is home to two rare species of bears, Ursus thibetanus and Helarctos malayanus, and both are seriously threatened by illegal hunting and smuggling. Bears are usually captured in the wild when they are small and then sold to farms to raise for gall bladder and bile products.

At present, Vietnam has around 3,500 confined bears, most of them originating from the wild.

ENV said that eliminating bear farms is the first important step for conserving bear species in Vietnam.

In addition to protecting wild bears, ENV recommended that relevant Vietnamese agencies should improve the laws on wild animal protection and promote their enforcement as well as scientific research on bear conservation.

Source: VOV

Source: QDND

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