Asia's largest black bear rescue center in southwest China's
Sichuan Province has saved over 100 black bears from bear farming,
according to Jill Robinson, founder of the Animals Asia Foundation
The black bear rescue center, financed by the AAF, has been
cooperated with local governments to work towards the future
elimination of bear farming in China and the promotion of herbal
alternatives to bear bile.
The black bear rescue center was built last December in Longqiao
Township in Chengdu City, capital of Sichuan
Province, and can accommodate 150 black bears in an area of
some 11 hectares.
After careful medical treatment, the rescued bears have
recovered and are living in the center.
Bear bile has been used in traditional Chinese medicines for
over 3,000 years and some impoverished farmers raise bears for
In 2000, the AAF, the China Wildlife Conservation Association
and the Sichuan Provincial Forestry Department launched a campaign
to save black bears.
The campaign aims to rescue 500 black bears from the bear farms
within five years in Sichuan Province and promote the action across
the nation in ten years to ultimately eliminate bear farming,
China's bear farms have been reduced to 30 from the original
100, with the number of bears in the farms cut to less than 2,000
from about 3,000, when the campaign started, said Chen Runsheng,
secretary-general of the China Wildlife Conservation
(Xinhua News Agency November 2, 2003)