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As we celebrate Christmas with our friends and family lets spare a thought for all the suffering animals in the world and the 1100 farmed bears in Korea.
20 November 2012: Dae Jeon court in Korea ruled out a case by a bear farmer who requested approval to allow other usage of bear parts in addition to the gall bladder. This means other usage of bear parts such as oil, meat and blood from slaughtered bears are not allowed by law.
대전지법 반달가슴곰 웅담채취 외 고기사용은 안돼
수입된 반달가슴곰으로부터 증식된 사육곰에 대해 웅담 외 다른 부위는 식·가공용으로 사용할 수 없다는 법원 판결이 나왔다.
대전지방법원 제 1행정부(김미리 부장판사)는 20일 A(51·여)씨가 금강유역환경청장을 상대로 낸 국제적멸종위기종(사육 곰) 용도변경 재승인처분 취소소송에서 원고청구를 기각했다고 밝혔다.
법원 판결문은 “환경부장관도 2005년 3월 9일 지방환경청장에게 사육곰의 용도변경 승인시 웅담채취 외 곰 고기 등을 식용판매 용도변경은 불허 조치를 취해야 한다고 공문을 내렸다”며 “용도변경승인 업무처리시도 사용내역, 부산물 처리계획, 처리장소 등 면밀히 검토해 처리해야 한다”고 설명했다.
판결문은 “이에 지방환경청은 웅담을 약재로 사용하는 경우 외는 사육곰에 대한 용도변경 승인을 해주지 않고 있다”며 “국제적 멸종위기종으로 지정된 사육곰은 국내서 웅담채취용으로만 사용하며 목적외는 사용할 수 없는 것은 잘 알려진 사실이다”고 판시했다.
또 “웅지(곰기름)의 경우 곰의 신체 전부에 퍼져 있어 곰을 완전히 분해해야 한다. 이는 국제적 멸종위기종 동물의 사용을 금지하는 야생동식물법 취지에도 어긋난다”고 판시이유를 밝혔다.
이어서 “1985년 이전에 수입된 반달가슴곰으로부터 증식된 사육곰도 국제적 멸종위기종에 해당함이 분명하다”며 “반달가슴곰의 웅담을 채취해 약재로 사용하는 것마저도 우리나라에서 비판의 목소리가 높다”고 덧붙였다.
A sanctuary in Vietnam is fighting tooth and claw an eviction order that would put its more than 100 bears back behind bars. Simon Parry investigates
ANIMAL RIGHTS - WITNESS TO CRUELTY
Vietnam's bear bile trade is fuelled in part by Asian tourists, including visitors from Hong Kong, whose custom in popular resorts such as Halong Bay helps keep the illicit industry alive.
Tour buses stop at villages in the country's northeast, where bears are kept in cages with crude catheters forced into their stomachs to milk them for their bile - which is used in traditional medicine and is said to cure liver disease and a variety of other illnesses.
In village after village on the outskirts of Halong city, a grotesque cottage industry has sprung up, with scores of families - operating from yards, tin shacks, gardens and stretches of scrubland - making a living out of the endangered bears.
Crammed into small cages they will most likely never leave, the bears are milked for a fluid that sells for up to US$25 a millilitre, equivalent to the weekly wages of a Vietnamese factory worker.
Riddled with disease and scarred with wounds caused by banging themselves against their cages, the bears are usually drugged before having syringes and catheters regularly inserted into their gall bladders to extract the bile.
It is mixed with wine or taken in powder form in the belief it will improve sexual potency and treat a variety of ailments ranging from hangovers to liver and heart disease.
In one village I visited in 2010 with Animals Asia investigators, there were more than 350 bears - or one for every household - being kept captive for their bile. The residents are able to exploit a loophole in the law by claiming they keep the bears as pets or tourist attractions. Wary of our presence and of the local government official accompanying us on our visit, families at home after home insisted they were keeping the bears as pets and had not milked them for bile since laws were introduced officially banning the practice in the 1990s.
Littered on the floor around the cages, however, were wire nooses, canvas straps, syringes, boxes of antibiotics and other tell-tale signs that these bears were being milked.
Bears, some with paws missing from being trapped in the wild, others with abdominal wounds from bile extraction, rocked back and forth in their cages, gnawing at the bars with broken teeth and banging their heads repeatedly against the cages. When we looked in, some shrank back in terror into the corner of their cages, which are barely large enough for them to turn around in, while others threw themselves against the bars in panic.
One bear farmer with 29 animals claimed she kept them "for conservation purposes". Another with 30 bears claimed he had paid US$5,000 for each bear and offered to sell them to us for US$3,000 each.
The practice of milking bears for their bile is relatively recent. The first bear farms began appearing in North Korea in the early 1980s before spreading to China and then into Vietnam...
Watch Youtube video: An About Face
Animals Asia's Vietnam Bear Rescue Centre faces eviction from Tam Dao National Park, following an aggressive campaign by the park director, Do Dinh Tien.
Resorts World Sentosa are still going ahead with their plan to bring 25 wild-caught dolphins (captured in the Solomon Islands) into Singapore for display at their new marine life park attraction.
Today's gathering was fantastic.
I hand- delivered our petition signatures to the Blue House where the President Lee, Myungbak works and lives. It was a bit of struggle at the reception counter but, since I made clear this petition was created to stop cruel bear farming industries in the country and the petition was specially for President, the guard called the secretary to the President on the phone. The lady asked what this was for and I repeated the purpose of our petition to free the bears of Korea into bear sanctuaries and this must delivered to the hand of President . She said OK and the petition went through the security channel of the Yeon Pung Mun which is small very secure entrance for individuals who have business with the Blue House. I was over the top I was able to carry out my promise to people.
These 22,000 signatures collected from all over the world will make a positive impact on the direction of how the Korean government will carry out the difficult task to free the bears and at the same time set a good role model for other Asian countries who also have this cruel practice. I am certain no President of Korea has ever realized practice of bear bile farming was rampant in Korea.
Thanks very much for all our supporters who signed this important petition which will be essential to a new policy to ban bear farming in Korea. Also many thanks to our sister organization CARE and Bear Truth who have been working tirelessly to save animals from the streets of Korea.
We look forward to keeping you all up to date with further developments following the delivery of the petition and the associated publicity.
Press Release By moonbears.org
Sept 25, 2012
moonbears.org was established in 2007 with the aim to accomplish complete abolition of bear farming. There are 1100 bears suffering daily from the bear farms in Korea. In 1981,the Korean Agriculture Department imported more than 500 moon bears from abroad to boost farming household income by exporting of farmed bears. But due to the global trend of export bans for endangered species, these bears ended up becoming just a nuisance to the bear farmers. Currently these bears are being abused by cost cutting measures by the bear farmers with little water and food. They remain kept in old and dirty cages in the Korean bear farms. Despite the various herbs and lab created medicines to replace bear gall bladder, bears continue to suffer and even die from stress and overwork in the course of illegal draining of their bear gall bladder while still alive. Also, illegal slaughtering & secret trafficking of bear meat is being reported by local media constantly. Their plight is simply appalling.
In the course of protesting against the government policy , one bear farmer even declared that bear blood is to be commercialized as product after certain research. The Korean bear farmers clearly want to legalize bear products for the local markets since exports are now banned internationally.
This issue is the Korean Government's responsibility stemming from its original decision to encourage bear farming. In addition, the Korean Government has not properly regulated and controlled this industry for the last 30 years. Moreover, it is appalling the farmers keep putting pressure on the Government to be compensated for their money losing bear business. This is not agreed by local communities. They do this purely in their own financial interests.
Both the Korean Government and the bear farmers deserve the criticism of society at large and now it is time such criminal acts are no longer tolerated. The Government should be responsible for imposing strict punishment against illegal bear farm owners upon discovering illegal farming. First of all it is quite urgent to promulgate revision of the legislation for related special bear farm laws in order to provide for punishment of such criminal acts. Without having the law, enforcement of laws against illegal activity is impossible. Contrary to the will to protect the nature of the world by the scholars of the globe through the recent IUCN conference in Korea, this cruel system of bear farming casts a dark shadow on this country.
According to the result of the conference, Korea was included in the list of 5 countries that breed moon bears(China, Korea, Vietnam, Laos, Myanmar), and IUCN requested the Korean Government to indicate a prompt and clear position to ban bear farming upon its implementation of a new policy. Now at this time the eyes of the world are focusing on the advanced nation of Korea. The 22000 petition signatures being presented today to the Government have been gathered from all over the world. The petitioners are resoundingly calling for the closure of our cruel and shameless bear farming system. Being a leader of the modern world, Korea should pay its respects to life and the environment. Its advanced auto industry and mobile communication devices alone do not prove anything without better animal welfare policies. Just to stress, the moon bears being kept in the bear farms in Korea are clearly an endangered species belonging to Index 1 designated by the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources.
The 9 proposals for voluntary elimination of bear farming announced by the Ministry for Environment must be dropped in favor of compulsory ones and if not the Government shall not be able to avoid accusations by the community in general or domestic and international animal protection groups. These rules should be compulsory and apply to all farmers. This is because the larger scale bear farms may not agree with the Government proposal for sterilization operations and could lead to a major increase in the number of bears is anticipated in these farms as a result of the numbers of bears given up by small scale bear farms.
A more effective policy would be, for the Government to first purchase all 1100 moon bears from the farmers and for it to provide step by step sterilization operations upon promulgation of legislation abolishing full scale bear bile farming. Additionally the Government should provide sanctuaries for the remaining bears who can live out their remaining lives in peace.
According to the legend, the Korean peoples' ancestor is the offspring of Ungyeo-a female bear. As the offspring of a bear, we must save bears from cruel farming cages as soon as possible. Upon the death of bears in their sanctuary, such places can be changed into national parks, symbolizing a space for peace and philanthropy , similar to World Trade Center’s that has re-birthed as a symbol of freedom.
Founder of moonbears.org
Moon bears are declared endangered species by IUCN
MBN 시사기획 맥 9회(1)-반달곰 고기 밀거래...곰이 죽어가고 있다
By Laura-Claire Corson
SEOUL, Aug. 20 (Yonhap) -- When South Korea's National Assembly budget committee endorsed a proposal setting aside funds to investigate the current status of bear farming, animal rights groups celebrated that their efforts were finally paying off. The bill allocates 200 million won (US$176,000), and the investigation would also include creating a way to end bear farming all together.
Moon bears at a bear farm in Hwachon, Gangwon Province, in 2010.
In the latest incident 2 more young 70 kilo female bears escaped last Saturday and these had both been shot by Monday after the police dispatched 20 hunters and ten hunting dogs. In slightly positive development we understand that they only returned the corpse of one of the bears to the farmer so he was only able to profit from one of the poor animals. One of the bear also confirmed to have a cork and again a hole on her chest same from last one in April this year. these raise a few question whether the bear had been abused before. In April previous investigations of another bear shot after escaping the same farm also was found to have a hole in the bear's chest, suggesting the illegal extraction of blood or another bodily fluid. Despite previous disinterest by the Korean authorities of the operation and activities of this illegal facility, this time the bear's body has been confiscated for an official autopsy. This is a very positive development by the Korean authority however it is told that Mr. Kim the owner denied one of the bears was been bile-extracted in his farm, and the police didn’t buy it, This is the bear farm on unlicensed facility that also incorporates a bear meat restaurant and that there is a steady stream of bears escaping and being shot. While the big picture of such disgusting farms is being addressed by all of us with the MOE etc, it seems that perhaps there is at least an argument that Mr. Kim should be charged the cost of the police having to mobilise the hunting parties.
경인일보- 용인 곰 사육장을 빠져나온 후 사살된 반달가슴곰 2마리 중 1마리의 사체(경인일보 7월 16일자 23면 보도) 목 주변에서 코르크 마개로 막아놓은 구멍이 발견돼 농장 주인이 쓸개즙을 채취하려 한 것 아니냐는 의혹이 일고 있다. 경찰은 불법 쓸개즙 채취가 이뤄졌는지 여부를 확인하기 위해 한강유역환경청에 부검을 의뢰했다. 사육장 주인 김모(65)씨는 쓸개즙 채취와 관련한 의혹을 전면 부인하고 있다. 한편 110마리의 약재용 곰을 사육하는 용인시 처인구 천리 김씨 사육장에서는 지난 4월에도 곰 1마리가 탈출, 등산객 1명을 물어 상처를 입힌 뒤 달아났다가 사살됐다. 용인/홍정표기자
We celebrate this wonderful news with you and to let you know we are one step closer. Upon getting 20,000 signatures we will send out our letters to the President, Presidential Candidates and all the embassies in Korea representing the countries to let them know the whole world is watching. Once again we send our warmest thanks for your wonderful supports over the years to end this cruel bear farming industries. Bears are mother to Korean people as it was clearly stated in our mythology called DanGun Shin Hwa in 5000 years of our long history. The farmed moon bears should be protected and conserved at the sanctuaries for the remainder of their lives. They have suffered long enough, it's time to put a stop now. Thank you all- in harmony for no harms.
Our petition link- http://www.gopetition.com/petitions/save-bears-in-korea.html
moon bears photo slideshow link- http://photopeach.com/album/lkadr9
moonbears.org face book page: pls 'LIKE" us at- https://www.facebook.com/pages/moonbearsorg/281123895264711
Hear about the moon bear books and secrets of business success
In the morning of Monday, April 23rd, a young female bear from a bear farm in Yongin, Korea escaped during den change process and was shot to death within less than10 hours. The bear was estimated to be about 37kg, 2 year old female moon bear. It was reported that the bear bit a hiker at 2:06PM in the mountain and thus the police officers shot three bullets to kill the bear. The bear had a hose stuck on its neck suspected for the use of bile and/or blood extraction purpose.
video link- http://news.jtbc.co.kr/html/994/NB10098994.html
We are standing for this cause for a very simple reason. These bears have no voice of their own, just like many other animals. They do not have a voice and we are giving them one here today and in many other ways.
They are victims of superstition and plain old fashioned ignorance. People are taking their bile and eating their parts as they believe it will cure something about them. 100s of herbs and other medicines will help but people seem to live in the ignorant past.
In Korea there are only a handful of moon bears in the wild but thousands in farms being tortured every day as their bile is extracted. In China there are many thousands more. These inhumane practices are simply unacceptable. Can you imagine a living creature being kept alive while it is drained of fluids essential to its existence? It is time the world woke up to this barbaric farming of animals that were originally born wild and Governments and others joined together to put a stop to it.
In today's world , Governments have billions of dollars to spend on energy, construction and other ways of improving the lives of all of us. Why not spend an absolute fraction of this and ban farming of bears, establish sanctuaries for those left to live their days out, as most of them will soon die of cancers and other diseases from the farming methods, and establish reserves for those remaining in the wild.
It is time to wake up people in the ivory towers of Seoul, Beijing and Shanghai to the fact that actually their countries still have barbaric practices from thousands of years ago.
That is why we are here today.
Protesters march for ban on trade in bear bile:
More than 800 animal lovers took to the streets on the 1st of April to protest against the international trade in the bile of the Asian black bear. They called on the government to take the lead on the nationwide ban on the use of bear bile in the traditional medicine. Organized by the animal rights group Animal Earth, the demonstration showed its support for the legislation prohibiting the import of bear bile into Hong Kong and its opposition to the initial public offering of the bile- employing Fujian based company Gui Zhen Tang Pharmaceutical on the Shenzhen Stock Exchange.
"Hong Kong should take advantage of its legislative system to become a role model opposing animal cruelty and saving bears," Animal Earth chief officer David Wong Kai-yan said.
Among the protesters was Civic party lawmaker Audrey Eu Yuetmee. She raised a formal question in the legislative Council last Wednesday on whether the government would legislate to ban all trade and sales of Chinese medicine made from bile, a digestive juice stored in the bear's gall bladder. " I have written to the government to ask them to follow up on the issue and at least in my remaining term, I will continue to fight for the banning of any substance that contains bear bile in Hong Kong," Eu said.
According to the Foot and Health Bureau, medical products containing bear bile can only be sold with government permission. The Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department said there was no application for import of bile- related products in 2011. But information on how many such products are sold each year and the number of traders who are engaged in the trading bear bile is not available. Thousands of Asian black bears, also known as moon bears are kept caged for their entire lives in farms on the mainland and in South Asia. They are forced to wear breastplates to keep the wounds cut into their abdominal walls and gall bladders permanently open for daily collection of bile. But Chu Kwok-tung, a registered Chinese-medicine practitioner, said there were substitutes for bear bile, such as chrysanthemum, which were just as effective.
Ms Claudia Mo, she belongs to Civil Party - a political party in HK
Dr. Chu- a Chinese medicine specialis - hk.myblog.yahoo.com/hkdrchu
Ms Share Hung- a young group from China
Miss Audrey Eu- from Civil Party
Ms Gina Walker- a founder of moonbears.org in Korea
Mr. Wong Wai Yin - from Liberal Party
Mr. Kong - a district council in Hong Kong
Mr. Roy Tam - from an environmental group
Mr. David Wong - founder and organizer of Animal Earth + $2 from Animal Friendly Alliance
Ms Gilda Ho- PR
'Miracle' is an escaped Asiatic farmed bear who got shot and killed last year in January 2011 Korea. Korea is one of 3 countries to allow this practice to continue. Show your support to ensure that this practice will soon end so it won't repeat again. Ultimately, we hope to end this barbaric and unregulated trade in Korea, fueled by ignorance. Join us to show you care about animal welfare and help us send the message that animal cruelty is NOT ACCEPTABLE.
Jan 18, 2012 MBN news
This is the latest news release on murdered moon bears from illegal farms in South Korea Kyunggi-do, Yang-ju and Po-cheon.
Both farms were not registed under the law, nor the paper approving the slaughtering of the dead bears.
The method of killing is not yet known, however around 20 bear parts were found inside these two farms.
The live bears showed extreme signs of abnormal behaviour, most of them are in bad physical condition such as skin disease, loss of arms and legs and so on. Often on the dead bears they were missing their gall bladder, raising serious suspicion over illegal removing of the gall bladder. An expert says the bears could have died of complications after losing the gall bladder as result.
The reporter Gal, Tae-ung has not been found yet for more information. moonbears.org will follow up on stories when we make a contact with the reporter.
Another disgraceful and sad reality of bear farm industries not properly regulated by the Ministry of Environment.
As we are finding that education is an effective tool and our main means of doing this is through John Walker's books and the publicity etc that surrounds these.
To date we have self published the two books- 'Ura's World' and 'Ura's Dream' and the recent school workbook. This is quite expensive when all costs considered- we have sold 6000 books in total and are planning two more new books in the Ura series. All the proceeds have been donated to animal charities and we think including launching costs etc to date our cost is about 60,000USD and we have donated about 35,000USD. So a big shortfall in costs vs benefits so far.
If were able to get assistance on funding the next two books either through direct assistance or in getting help finding a publisher and distributor willing to take it on that would be great. The biggest issue really is marketing to get people to buy the books. We are working on a plan to sell them in China at the moment through a children's brand Korean retailer but still have some time to go on that. If it works though we could sell millions and donate huge sums of money.
The donations went to Animal welfare organizations and environment groups in Asia such as Animals Asia, Green Korea, KMPL ( Korea Mountain Preservation League) and Care. Recently we donated 5,000USD to CARE(Co-existence of Animal Rights on Earth) for the second time around on Jan 03 2012.
CARE who has over 60,000 local members, recently produced an official link to promote John's children's books in Korea.
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