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We have come to the end of another year. Sadly the situation for Moon Bears in Korea continues to move only inches forward.
However we continue to lobby, highlight and escalate the issues and we are hopeful that we can get the plight of Koreas’ bears back on the Government’s agenda in the coming year.
In the meantime we would like to wish you a happy and restful festive season.
On 11~12 October 2014, the KAPCA ( Korea Alliance for Prevention Cruelty to Animals) jointly with the local district office held an incredibly successful day in Busan called Pet Dog Festival for the occasion of World Animal Day.
The event was attended by hundreds of animal lovers and its pets, events included dog walking, dog adaption, and general education activities including for problem animals.
moonbears.org featured prominently at the event as a sponsor with the World Animal Day logo alongside the organisers. We also donated along with some cash a numbers of the 'Ura's World' and 'Ura's Dream' children's books, 'Ura's Dream' Work books.
The outstanding thing about the event is that it was supported by the local government and attended by local officials which is a lessons that other Governments in Korea including the National Government could learn.
We had over 200 of our new protest postcards signed and these will now be mailed to the Environment Minister demanding that the Government support Bear Sanctuaries in Korea.
Congratulations to all involved in this great event.
2014 World Animal Day Link: http://www.worldanimalday.org.uk/event/pet-dg-festival-in-busan-korea/
John, who is a great supporter of moonbears.org, launched his first Music Album on 4 September in Seoul Korea. This follows a very successful Philippines launch in Manila on 3 July 2014 where five thousand US dollars was presented to the Philippines Red Cross. All songs on the Album were written by John and he performs all of them. At the launch John and the band performed 9 of the songs live.
The launch was attended by nearly 200 people and the music had a great reception of the audience and the media. All proceeds from the Album are being donated to charities throughout Asia. In Korea that charity is one that supports old people living alone. Good timing with a cold winter coming! John also sold quite a number of his children's books- Ura's World & Ura's Dream at the launch and he continues to make donations from these book sales to animal welfare charities.
12 Bridges is available on ITunes and Amazon Music and we strongly recommend people to buy it. It is great music but also a great way of giving. It will soon also be available on all the Korean on line music portals.
Pls visit www.12bridges.net
We were quite excited a few months back that finally the Government was to take collective action was to accelerate the banning of bear farming but things seemed to have bogged down amid the many issues facing the Government and the people of Korea at this time. The terribly tragic Sewol ferry disaster has shocked the nation and occupied a huge amount of time for lawmakers, civil servants and the community generally. There are also many continuing scandals in the political sphere, generally involving graft and corruption.
On the plus side there is an active work plan to expand the amount of land available for natural habitat for the few remaining bears in the wild and that is of course very positive for that lucky few. However this does nothing to help the thousand bears which continue to be farmed and live in abject misery. The Government therefore has to accelerate its so called collective action to address this.
We at moonbears.org remain positive, however, that the groundswell of support will continue to grow for banning bear farming and, importantly, relocating bears to sanctuaries to live out their days. Following our strong arguments that banning bear farming is only part of the solution, a number of groups are now taking up the cause of establishing sanctuaries with Government funding support and we believe the message is now getting through.
So lets all continue to maintain the rage and not let up on this issue despite the many other public issues in Korean life at this time.
We are making progress.
We are making an impact.
It is important to keep the momentum going.
If we don't all do it, who else will?
- Related YouTube Video Link:
- News Link:
1. '반달곰 보호구역' 지리산 심원마을 폐쇄-
2. 지리산 반달곰, 덕유산 넘어갈 길 만든다-
3. 호랑이·반달곰 등 멸종위기종 사육기준 강화-
On 25 April David Pillings of the Financial Times wrote a very interesting article about questions that arise from the shocking Jindo ferry disaster in Korea.
He assessed the high emotions running in Korea and the soul searching about whether Korea, despite its huge economic development, is really a nation that places enough emphasis on sound regulation and enforcement of such regulations.The conclusion drawn was that there is so much emphasis on business success and economic development that things like safety and welfare have been left back in the era of a developing country.
The ferry disaster is a human catastrophe and our hearts go out to all families effected. The issues arising though go far deeper than this one of a series of events that do in fact demonstrate that Korea has a long way to go before it can truly be an advanced nation.
We at moonbears.org hope that the emerging realization of the need to bring regulation up to date and enforce it across the whole spectrum of life in Korea and the fact that economic progress means nothing without bringing an improvement in humanity and respect for all things might also finally lead to sensible and humanitarian laws for animal cruelty and mistreatment.
David Pilling: Culture is no alibi for officials who make mistake
It is believed that they would have been used in Chinese medicine where bear parts are in high demand.
In treatments, the bile from the gall bladder of the animal is used for liver, gall bladder, heart, spleen and stomach conditions.
The product is said to stop spasms such as epilepsy and childhood convulsions.
The methods used to extract the bile from the animals are particularly cruel and the animals are held in cramped cages.
We are proud to sign a coalition letter led by Asia For Animals Coalition which in support of the proposed zoo legislation bill designed to improve the welfare of captive animals in Korea, proposed on September 27, 2013 by Assembly Member Ms Jang, Hana.
Legislation should ban the following practices which cause severe animal suffering: - the practice of feeding live prey to large predators for entrainment - the use of wild animals for photo-taking with members of the public - the use of wild animals in circus-style performances where animals are forced to exhibit behaviour contrary to their natural behaviour in the wild - the exhibition of wild-caught individuals ( except for individuals that have been confiscated as part of an illegal trade and cannot be returned to the wild)
We will update you on any progress.
An Australian man is on a mission to put an end to the practice of extracting bile from captive live bears. Bear bile is a traditional component of Chinese medicine, said to cure everything from liver and digestive problems to heart conditions and even cancer. Luke Nicholson, the project manager for the World Society for the Protection of Animals, says its use has got to stop. "It is a cruel and barbaric practice. It is not necessary for us to use bear bile because there are many effective alternatives," he told 7.30. Going back well over a thousand years, wild bears were killed for their bile. These days, farmers keep the animals in cages and extract the bile in an invasive and painful process. The bear is removed from its cage and laid on its back. Ultrasound is used to locate the gall bladder, then a catheter or syringe is inserted through the body cavity to extract the bile. It is estimated that across Asia as many as 20,000 bears are kept in cramped cages, only able to take two or three paces, and often unable to stand up to their full height. With a poor diet, limited water and often in filthy conditions, the animals are bored and stressed. Mr Nicholson recently travelled to Vietnam to document the conditions in bear farms there. "It is a horrific scene, it really is," he said. "You have got one of the most majestic animals, a very large mammal, trapped inside a cage that is literally in most cases no bigger than an old telephone booth. "The welfare conditions are atrocious. The bears can just seem broken, have absolutely no spirit and sit looking vacantly out into the distance."
'It is horrifying, it is disgusting'
Keeping bears in cages is legal in Vietnam, but live bear bile extraction was outlawed in 2005. But as Mr Nicholson discovered, many farmers are flouting the law. "We were offered bear bile which could be produced on demand at any volume," he said. In Australia over the past five years, Customs has seized 270 consignments containing bear bile. These include bear bile capsules, vials of bear bile, bear gall powder, bear pills and haemorrhoid ointments. Chinese herbal medicine practitioner Ngaio Richards has never used bear bile and points out there are effective herbal and pharmaceutical alternatives. "Bear bile might be prescribed for conditions such as serous conjunctivitis, for eye disorders that involve a lot of inflammation or infection," she said. "The question is not does bear bile work, but what can be effectively used to replace it? And there are a lot of effective ways of replacing it." Mr Nicholson has returned to Australia with his footage from Vietnam. His team's challenge is to convince overseas governments to create and enforce laws to make sure bears are no longer kept in captivity. "It is horrifying, it is disgusting, it appals me, but I guess that is why I do what I do," he said, "I want to move the world to protect animals and this is my contribution to ending the bile industry."
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