Chinese Bear Bile Backlash

The furious response to a major bear bile producer’s proposed stock market listing may be indicative of changes in attitudes toward animal welfare. From The Telegraph:

Gui Zhen Tang, a pharmaceuticals company that supplies the traditional Chinese medicine market, has been the subject of thousands of angry tweets and micro-blog postings after local media reported it was planning to list in the southern province of Fujian.

“If it (Gui Zhen Tang) eventually goes to market, it will be the end of bear!” [said] Yi Jichun, the producer of a nature program on a local satellite TV network, who called for the public to resist bear bile products, earning more than 8,700 re-tweets.

China’s public has traditionally been unmoved by animal welfare issues, however animal rights campaigners say the furious reaction to Gui Zhen Tang’s listing is evidence that attitudes are changing.

Opponents of the practice say that bear-farming, which involves milking the greenish bear bile for use in everything from hair regrowth shampoos, to bear-wine virility tonics and haemorrhoid cures is desperately cruel.

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