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Jean Lambert London's Green MEP

Joint letter from Green MEPs on bear bile farming

Jean Lambert, the Green MEP for London, and Keith Taylor, the Green MEP for the South East, have sent the following letter to the Chinese Ambassador in the UK calling for an end to the practice of bear bile farming:

Ambassador Mr. Liu Xiaoming,
49 Portland Place

19th October 2010

Dear Excellency,

We are deeply concerned about the practice of farming bears for their bile. The process of ‘milking’ bears for their bile, often through catheters implanted in their gall bladder causes severe physical pain and should be stopped.

The agreement between the Animal Asia foundation and the Government departments of the Beijing China Wildlife Conservation Association and the Sichuan Forestry Department has led to the rescue of 500 suffering and endangered Moon bears. This significant step is something we would like to applaud. We now call on the Chinese authorities to follow up on this commendable start by committing to eliminate the terrible practice of bear farming altogether.

Bear farming is completely unnecessary, especially given that over 50 herbal and synthetic, cheaper and equally efficacious alternatives are available.  Health concerns have also been raised over the safety of bile that is extracted from bears whose livers and gall bladders have become severely diseased as a result of ‘milking’. We sincerely hope that the Chinese authorities will commit to ending this barbaric practice.

We look forward to hearing from you.

Yours sincerely,

Keith Taylor, Green MEP for the South East of England

Jean Lambert, Green MEP for London