ENV in partnership with World Animal Protection and Four Paws hailed a number of successful outcomes in the wake of their first Vietnam Bear Week (December 10-16) urging the public not to use bear bile and other bear products as well as calling for an end to bear farming in Vietnam.
Vietnam Bear Week commenced with the “Run for bears – end bear farming” race in Ha Noi, followed by a series of awareness raising and law enforcement activities across the country, in particular targeting hot spots for bear farming.
A number of positive results were achieved during this intensive week:
- More than 800 runners from 43 countries participated in the “Hanoi Half Marathon – Run for bears” race to call for an end to bear farming in Vietnam;
- Over 700 wishes were sent by students of a secondary school in Phuc Tho district wishing bears healthy and happy lives in nature – where they belong;
- Over 4,000 people pledged not to use bear bile and other bear products throughout 13 provinces, bringing the total number of pledges in 2017 to nearly 40,000;
- Over 1,000 people changed their avatar picture frame on Facebook to express their love for bears and further spread the message of bear protection on the social media channel;
- A series of talk shows to deliver the message of bear protection to a range of audiences received positive responses;
- A series of public service announcement videos urging the public not to use bear bile were screened at the entrances of Hong Ngoc Hospital, reaching thousands of patients, staff and visitors;
- Three bears, who had spent nearly 20 years in cages, were released into a new semi-natural area at the Four Paws BEAR SANCTUARY Ninh Binh;
- World Animal Protection continued their second phase of re-microchipping bears in Dong Nai province – a hot spot for bear farming. Over 80 bears were re-chipped, bringing the total to 240 captive bears fitted with next gen microchips this year;
- A bear farmer in Dong Nai province voluntarily handed over her captive bear to the authorities;
Another Vietnam Bear Week highlight was the voluntary transfer of a bear by a bear farmer in Gia Lai. The transfer to Hanoi Bear Rescue Center, means 24 microchipped bears have been voluntarily turned over in 2017.
“The action of the bear owner in Gia Lai is an act to be commended! We hope this will set a good example to encourage more bear owners to give up their bears and help put an end to bear farming in Vietnam,” said Mrs. Nguyen Thi Phuong Dung, ENV Vice Director.
Although Vietnam Bear Week ended on December 16, activities dedicated to bear protection will continue thanks to the commitment and cooperation of the authorities, non-governmental organizations, the community and bear owners.
“ENV and its partners will continue to work to expedite the end of bear farming in Vietnam. The positive results obtained in Vietnam Bear Week demonstrates that Vietnam will soon witness the cessation of bear farming,” said Mrs Dung.
Everyone can contribute to stop bear bile farming in Vietnam as follows:
- Do not use, purchase or consume bear bile or products made from bears.
- Encourage friends, family and others not to consume bear bile and other bear products.
- Contact the ENV Wildlife Crime Hotline 1800-1522 if you see bears or bear products being advertised or sold in Vietnam.
- Become a member of ENV’s wildlife volunteer network.