Bear-bile farm draws rebukes for visit proposal

Updated: 2012-02-20 07:36

By Zheng Jinran (China Daily)

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But some celebrities and experts said that they had doubts about the public visits.

Zhang Yue, a TV hostess and founder of the Beijing Loving Animals Foundation, also known as Ta Foundation, said that although the visits represented progress by the company, she and the organization rejected such 'staged' events.

"We all know that the company could have time to prepare for the visits and may give the public a false picture," she said. "What we want is the truth."

Media and experts should not visit on two separate days, because it wouldn't help reporters learn the truth, she said.

Officials from the World Society for the Protection of Animals, headquartered in London, also said that the visits wouldn't reveal the truth.

Sun Quanhui, a senior official of the society, said: "The visits won't help people get a true and full picture about the captive bears These short visits would only provide a superficial view. We cannot guarantee what we will see is true."

He suggested that instead of a couple of visits of this nature, there should be a series of visits based on a systematic plan to evaluate the bears' situation and the method of extracting bile.

Not only domestic experts should have a chance to visit, he added. Involving international experts would make the results more credible.

The matter also attracted online attention. A netizen named 8arbara posted on Sina weibo, a popular micro-blogging website: "It's too cruel to witness the extraction of bile from a pipe plugged into a bear's body.

"I don't believe we'd see the real situation in just those two days," she said.

Guizhentang, founded in 2000, keeps 470 bears and may expand the size of its farm after raising funds through its initial public offering (IPO).

But its attempt to get listed has aroused much controversy. More than 80 public figures have signed a petition opposing its IPO application.

"We'll make more effort to stop its application (for a listing) and force the company to stop maltreating those bears at last," Zhang said.

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