In light of World Animal Day, animal welfare organisation FOUR PAWS launch the next instalment in their international campaign to end bear bile farming in Vietnam. The charity worked with creative agency Don’t Panic, asking members of the global public to take the ‘Bear Endurance Test’ to highlight the severity of the situation and the race against time to save these bears from captivity. A special interactive microsite was built to monitor when someone stops watching the video, delivering them a message with their ‘score’ for the test, and the sad reality that for many bears – this lasts a lifetime. This is quite a harrowing video, which is the point, but please be warned:
Take the test: http://endurancetest.four-paws.org/
Around 1,300 bile bears endure miserable lives in Vietnamese farms and private backyards, shut up in cramped metal cages. Research carried out by FOUR PAWS shows that many of them have their bile cruelly extracted to meet the insatiable illegal bear bile trade on Vietnam’s streets, in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) shops, on the farms themselves, or on the Internet. Bear bile has been used for several thousand years as an elixir in traditional Chinese medicine, and even today remains a sought-after product despite effective herbal alternatives.
FOUR PAWS are calling on the Vietnamese government to take the necessary measures to end bear farming. “To be able to send a strong message to the Vietnamese government, FOUR PAWS aims to bring the voices of 1 million people across the world who have signed the petition to the Vietnamese government”, states Kieran Harkin, Head of International Wild Animal Campaigns at FOUR PAWS. “This will help deliver an unprecedented message that now is the time to finally end bear farming for good.”
Four Paws state: “They need our help! Please watch the video and share the microsite to spread awareness and help Four Paws gather enough signatures to put an end to their suffering.”
Four Paws are currently constructing a new state-of-the-art sanctuary in Vietnam that, once the government agrees, will eventually be able to offer a home to a hundred of the bears. They aim to change public perception in Vietnam with the opportunity to come and learn and see them in a species-appropriate environment. The new bear sanctuary will soon open its doors to the first bears in urgent need of rescue.