AFP, published on Friday, June 3, 2022 at 2:33 p.m.
Vietnamese police seized a record 350 bottles of bear bile, a substance used in traditional medicine, a wildlife protection organization said on Friday.
Authorities in Vietnam, a hotbed of illegal wildlife trafficking, banned the extraction of bear bile in 2005. Existing farms have been allowed to keep the animals they already own, but other than that, taking bile from a bear is punishable by five years in prison.
Police arrested a resident of Phuc Tho on the outskirts of Hanoi last week as he was carrying 350 bottles of bear bile in his car. The man owned seven animals.
According to the Hanoi Nature Education Foundation, this is the largest seizure ever made in the country.
“This is the first time a bear owner in Hanoi has been arrested and is under criminal investigation for the illegal transportation and trade in bear bile,” the deputy chief said in a statement. of the foundation, Bui Thi Ha.
According to the organization, there are nearly 150 bears locked in cages in Hanoi, half of the total herd across the country.
Traditional Vietnamese and Chinese medicine lends bear bile the power to cure hematomas and cancer and prolong life expectancy.
Animal Asia also said it had rescued three cubs and a 20-year-old bear in the northern mountainous provinces of Dien Bien and Son La in the north over the past two days. The animals were transported to a shelter closer to Hanoi.
Two of the cubs, which were in the hands of traffickers, weighed less than five kg. They need “immediate 24-hour care,” the association said.