ENDANGERED AND ABUSED WILD ANIMALS & The USE OF HERBAL ALTERNATIVES TO REPLACE ANIMAL DERIVATIVES
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China has 926 nature reserves covering
769,800 hectares, 7.64% of the entire country. They account for one-ninth of the world's total. China has signed more that 20 international treaties and conventions on environmental and resource protection, including the 1992 Convention on Biological Diversity. China is one of the richest countries in the world in terms of biodiversity. There are more than 6,300 species of vertebrates, 1,244 species of birds, 3,862 fish species, more than 30,000 species of seed plants, 4,200 herb species and 2,200 ornamental flowers and plants. (Source - China Daily, 1999).
ILLEGAL ANIMAL TRADING
Hong Kong is the leading world centre for the trade in fur pelts, the trade in wild birds, rhinoceros horns, tiger and seal penises and bear gall bladders and paws. There is also trade in many other animals including fighting dogs, pedigree dogs, civets, pangolins, turtles, monkeys and many more.
Don't let the authorities kid you. The trade is STILL continuing in a big way. Please read as many of the following references that you can find time for:
Below is a photo taken on a street in Chengdu Sept
1997 - similar photos are still being taken. Illegal animal parts for medicines are freely available. My attempt to complain to the Chengdu Travel Service was met first with denial and then, after being shown the photographs, with "it is not important".
Click on the paw for more photos:
See here for a description of a Chinese Market.
Herbal Medicines are cheaper and more effective than those derived from Animals!
We believe it is very unfortunate that those concerned with
endangered species are not uniting behind this simple banner. Talk of sustainable use farming and synthetic analogues diverts attention from the better and simpler solution. The obvious danger of these two approaches is that the producers will employ sales people who will promote the products thus stimulating demand. And there will always be people who will believe that a real, wild animal is more effective. And there will always be people willing to go into the forest to make a quick profit. For example, the trade in Panda pelts continues despite imprisonments and even executions.
species disappears, the pressure increases on another until it becomes endangered. To us the more important issue is cruelty. The way we treat some species, the animals wouldn't thank us for their survival.
There is general agreement amongst Traditional
Chinese Medicine (TCM)
Doctors that the herbal alternatives to animal parts medicine are not only cheaper and more ethical but also more effective.
Click here for
Links related to
- Animals Asia Foundation -
Rescue of 500 bears
- Saving moon bears from lives of torture
Farming and Trade in China and Taiwan
- NuJiang River Project: China Links
- Free The Bears Fund
Bile Bears in Vietnam
Stop Bear Bile Farming and Bear Poaching
Below are photos of Elizabeth, one of the Bile Bears rescued from the notorious Huizhou Farm. She is now living happily at IFAW Sanctuary in South China (last photo):
(Click the thumbnails to see the photos of her earlier life!)
组图：亚洲最大的黑熊救护中心在四川成都落成(Photos of Moon Bear
Bile Bears in Vietnam
PRESS RELEASE FROM AAF December 2002:
CHINESE GOVERNMENT ATTENDS OFFICIAL OPENING OF ANIMALS ASIA'S MOON BEAR RESCUE CENTRE.... AND RE-AFFIRMS INTENTION TO END BEAR FARMING
On Monday 16th December 2002, the Chinese Government Departments of Beijing and Sichuan joined with non-government Hong Kong based organisation Animals Asia Foundation in opening the largest Moon Bear Sanctuary in the world. Prior to the Ribbon Cutting Ceremony in Chengdu, Sichuan Province, the parties hosted a press briefing of national and international media, where officials emphasised that it was the intention of the Chinese Central Government to end the cruel practice of bear farming country wide.
Mr. Chen Run Shen, Secretary General of the Beijing based China Wildlife Conservation Association (CWCA), a Government Department of the State Forestry Administration, publicly announced several crucial statements from the Central Government:
"1. Currently the number of bear farms in China has greatly reduced and the number of bears on farms has not increased. The international reports of the 9000 figure is pure speculation and has no grounding at all.
2. The CWCA confirms that the China Central Government has no plans or intentions to commercialise the usage of bear bile on the international market.
3. The CWCA, on behalf of the Chinese Central Government, fully supports and recognises the efforts of the Animals Asia Foundation (AAF) in the rescue of Moon bears in China. We will continue to support the work of the AAF and together with the AAF we will achieve our final objective of terminating bear farming in China."
Mr. Chen added: "We humans have only one planet - however the planet does not belong to us, it belongs to the animals as well. We should treat animals better."
Mr. Chen and other government officials were later filmed assisting the Animals Asia Veterinary team in cutting open a cage and freeing a previously farmed Moon Bear.
Mr. Peng Huang Shi, Deputy Head of the Sichuan Forestry Department, formally stated that the number of farms and bears in Sichuan Province had also decreased and paid tribute to the tripartite cooperation of the relevant Government Departments and Animals Asia in rescuing bears from farms in that Province.
During the briefing, officials and media were updated on the progress of the China Bear Rescue by Jill Robinson MBE, Founder & CEO of Animals Asia, who advised that, since the rescue began in October 2000, 35 farms had closed and 97 bears had been confiscated into the care of the Animals Asia's Moon Bear Sanctuary in Chengdu. The farms licenses were confiscated, farmers were compensated to enable them to enter new employment outside of bear farming, and the government was issuing no new licenses countrywide. She emphasised that all bear farming in Asia was an unnecessary and inhumane practice.
Professor Liu Zhen Cai, a Chinese Traditional Medicine Practitioner, gave a formal statement on behalf of his medical colleagues: "I have been a practitioner of Chinese medicine for over 40 years and have never used bear bile." he said. "Today we have over 50 herbal alternatives and synthetic medicines which have the same efficacy as bear bile - and there is no need for bears to suffer any longer."
Whilst Robinson paid tribute to the help of the Government in the rescue, she also emphasised the need for addressing the issue of breeding on the current farms and called on the relevant Government departments to issue a country wide breeding ban in order to address one of the root problems in the industry.
Mr. David Bleyle, US Consul General in Sichuan also joined the press briefing and Ribbon Cutting Ceremony and pledged his support for the rescue and for ending bear farming in China: "Today marks an important step in the Government's commitment for working with Animals Asia and ending a cruel and unnecessary trade in China" he said. "We encourage the ongoing closure of the farms and urgent attention towards the end of bear farming once and for all."
As the first phase of the enclosed bamboo forest sanctuary was formally opened, the first group of farmed bears rescued in October 2000 took hesitant steps into the forest watched by local and international media and over twenty Central and local government officials. As the den doors opened, bears Jasper and Aussie cautiously raised their noses to the air and breathed in the smell of a natural environment which was far removed from their lives on a farm.
As the bears slowly disappeared into the forest, Robinson said she was cautiously optimistic that the announcements by the Government in China were a sincere endeavour to end the trade in bile extraction and bear farming and hoped this could happen by the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games. "We can never forget that thousands of bears are still suffering on farms for a practice which is outdated and cruel. However, today, the China Bear Rescue is now becoming a symbol for animal protection and conservation and we have reason to believe that there is progress - and hope - for farmed bears in China."
Jill Robinson Animals Asia Foundation - + 852 9095 8405
or + 852 2791 2225
Find out more about the historic China Bear Rescue by visiting the Animals Asia Foundation website at
Herbal Medicines are cheaper and
more effective than those derived from Animals!
SHEPHERDSTOWN, W.Va., Dec 17 2000 (Reuters) - It is thousands of years old and has the power to cure what ails you, but its effect on wildlife gives environmentalists the heebie-jeebies. Traditional Chinese medicine, or TCM, once the province of Chinese shop owners and Western hippies, has become a billion-dollar international industry in recent years, offering cures effective enough to attract research dollars from modern pharmaceutical companies. But wildlife experts warn that the healing art whose origins are said to date from the 3rd millennium B.C. is endangering growing numbers of the wild animals and plants that provide ingredients for its treatments. More than 20 years ago, environmentalists sounded alarms about the rampant poaching of African and Asian rhinos for rhino horn, which is said to cure fever and delirium. Now the international body that oversees trade in wild species is scrutinizing a growing number of plants and animals affected by demand for TCM. "Where years ago it was sort of a fringe thing, (TCM) accounts for close to half the new species we look at," said Susan Lieberman, a U.S. Fish & Wildlife official who sits on a scientific advisory panel to the U.N. Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES). CITES, a treaty signed by 152 countries, governs trade in more than 30,000 protected plant and animal species.
DEMAND FOR SIBERIAN MUSK DEER: Before wrapping up meetings in West Virginia last week, CITES officials reviewed trade and conservation data on TCM-affected species from seahorses and fresh-water turtles to Asiatic black bear and Indian cobra. Lieberman's panel concluded that skyrocketing demand for the musk of Siberian musk deer from Russia and China may be unsustainable because of over exploitation, poaching and the destruction of wild habitat.
Ninety percent of the musk trade is linked to TCM, which uses musk grains to treat heart disease and other complaints. CITES officials say demand for TCM products is being driven by economic growth in East Asia, particularly China, where development is rapidly destroying natural habitats. The fall of the Soviet Union also has brought lax regulation in regions where many of the animals range. Estimates of the TCM market, from $6 billion to $20 billion, encompassing China to Korea, Japan, Southeast Asia and the burgeoning Asian communities of North America. Environmentalists are working with TCM practitioners and the Chinese government to encourage herbal alternatives. But with double-digit growth expected over the next several years, and studies on TCM appearing in Western periodicals such as the Journal of the American Medical Association, experts say the threat to wild species is unlikely to abate.
PRESERVATION MOVEMENT ENERGIZED: "Along with this has come growth in the use of wildlife species," said Ginette Hemley, vice president for species conservation at the World Wildlife Fund. "The big concern has been with species that are critically endangered. But now there are species that are not as yet critically endangered." A decade ago, illegal trade in tiger bones for TCM energized a preservation movement that stamped out any suggestion of legitimizing trade in tiger parts. But animal activists are now concerned about farms that keep Asiatic black bears alive in captivity for their bile, which is said to be effective against arthritis. The Chinese government, which describes farming as a way to protect wild animal populations, hopes someday to establish an international market in bear bile. "If that were to happen, the wild population of bear species in China - Asiatic black bears, brown bears and sun bears - would decrease as well as populations in neighboring countries," said Phil Wilson of the World Society for the Protection of Animals. "In TCM, the bile of wild bears is preferred."
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Animal Underworld: Inside America's Black Market
for Rare and Exotic Species
250 West 57th Street,
New York, New York 10107
ABOUT THE BOOK:
A vast and previously undocumented underground economy exists in the United States. It involves the trafficking in rare and exotic species -- animals that the nation's zoo no longer need or want, animals that have been confined to laboratories in the name of science, animals that have mysteriously disappeared from some of the nation's leading theme parks, animals that are worth more dead than alive.. And whether large (lions, giraffes, bears) or small (monkeys, reptiles, birds), one thing is certain: Once these animals are dumped into the black market, few people seem to know -- or care -- what happens to them. In Animal Underworld, Alan Green and The Center for Public Integrity offer the definitive expose of the sleazy, sometimes illegal trade in exotic -- even endangered -- species. The book takes us to exotic-animal auctions, where the anonymous high bidders are often notorious dealers, hunting-ranch proprietors, and profit-minded charlatans masquerading as conservationists.
We peer inside research laboratories operated by some of the nation's most prestigious universities, which launder diseased monkeys though the same network of breeders and dealers until they finally reach the homes of unsuspecting pet owners. In case after case, Animal Underworld documents exactly what happens after zoos and theme parks unload their "surplus" animals on secretive middlemen who redirect them into the private pet trade. And the book shines an unwanted spotlight on those who profit by exploiting loopholes in the law or by ignoring the law altogether.
This black market is seemingly bottomless. At last count, for example, there were 250 or so tigers in the 180-plus zoos accredited by the American Zoo and Aquarium Association. But there are estimated to be as many as six or seven thousand pet tigers in the United States - some confined in windowless basements, others relegated to makeshift cages in backyards or back lots.
Classified ads in one specialty publication offer twenty-odd species ofprimates, including baby chimpanzees and even macaques that can carry a virus potentially fatal to humans; African lions, which in captivity are bred like beagles, go for as little as $200. Bears that have entertained families at petting zoos are unceremoniously put in a pipeline that ends on a butcher's table.
Those who depend on this black market -- from administrators of some of the nation's most prestigious zoos, to scientists who direct animal research at leading universities, to animal brokers who hide behind assorted shell companies and false names -- have so far shielded themselves from outside scrutiny. But now, Animal Underworld finally lifts the curtain on this dark world of money, greed, and cruelty. It is a brilliant and disturbing piece of investigative reporting. For anyone who cares about animals, Animal Underworld is essential reading.
Alan Green is a veteran investigative journalist who was the founding editor of AlterNet, the news service for North America's alternative newsweeklies. His reporting has won a number of awards, including the Worth Bingham Prize for his work in The New Republic.
The Center for Public Integrity is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization based in Washington, D.C. Since 1990, the Center has published more than thirty investigative reports, including the well-known 1996 "Lincoln Bedroom" story profiling Democratic fundraisers and donors who had stayed overnight in the White House.