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Bear bile industry gets bitten by legal action

China Daily | Updated: 2013-04-18 07:12

Chinese wildlife activists have resorted to legal action for the first time to try to end the bear bile industry, which has aroused concern due to the alleged ill treatment of bears.

Animal rights activists, led by Beijing Fengtai YTAHZ Environmental Institute, a Beijing-based NGO promoting environmental protection, brought a lawsuit against the wildlife authority of Fujian province on April 11, requesting that it revoke the certificate issued to a medicine manufacturer that legally allows it to extract bile from live bears.

Bear bile industry gets bitten by legal action
A Gui Zhen Tang worker extracts bear bile in Hui'an county, Fujian province, Feb 22, 2012. [Photo provided for China Daily]

The Gulou district court in Fuzhou received the indictment the next day, but has not replied to the lawyer by Wednesday.

The manufacturer at the heart of the dispute is Gui Zhen Tang, a pharmaceutical company known for harvesting live bear bile and processing it for use in traditional Chinese medicine.

The Asian black bear, the most commonly used species for the extraction of bear bile, is listed as endangered by the World Conservation Union.

Based in Fujian province, the company was founded in 2000 and has one of the largest black bear breeding centers in China.

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