Fang Shuting, the chairperson of the Chinese Association of Traditional Chinese Medicine says that bears are perfectly happy having their gall bladders drained. When speaking at a press conference yesterday, he reportedly said, The process of extracting bear bile is like turning on a tap: natural, easy and without pain. After they’re done, the bears can even play happily outside. I don’t think there’s anything out of the ordinary! It might even be a very comfortable process!
Activists and journalists were unimpressed with Mr Shuting’s comments. Shortly after the press conference, a journalist working for the Xiaoxiang Morning Post released undercover video of bear bile being gathered at a farm in China. The video, which has since gone viral in China, shows a bear screaming in pain as its gall bladder is drained of bile to make medicine.
Needless to say, the process doesn’t look very natural, easy or painless for the bears involved, but you never know. Perhaps Mr. Shuting could volunteer to undergo the procedure himself and let us know just how comfortable it is.
HT to Shanghaist for bringing this story to light.