Hanoi is a hot spot for captive bears

The country has 294 bears in captivity in private facilities, while Hanoi has 149 bears, accounting for more than 50%, according to the World Organization for Animal Welfare.

On the afternoon of May 30, Mr. Gilbet Sape, the global director of the wildlife program (World Organization for the Protection of Animals), said that Phuc Tho district alone has 139 bears in captivity in 21 facilities. In the past 17 years, the whole country has decreased from 4,300 bears in captivity to 294, while Hanoi alone has decreased by just over 10, mainly due to death.

“Hanoi is being left behind while many localities have actively stopped keeping bears in private facilities for bile,” said Mr. Gilbet Sape, saying Hanoi’s efforts are not enough to reduce this situation.

Mr. Gilbet Sapa spoke at the talk show, on the afternoon of May 30.  Photo: Gia Chinh

Mr. Gilbet Sape said at the panel discussion, on the afternoon of May 30. Image: Gia Chinh

Mr. Gilbet Sape said, in 2016, when he went to a bear breeding facility in Phuc Tho, he learned that there were more than 20 bears, some of whom had lived for more than 15 years in small cages of several square meters, many of which had lost their fur and teeth. The owner of the facility said that farming is not for commercial purposes, but only for ornamental purposes and conservation.

“I don’t think anyone keeps up to 20 bears for ornamental purposes. There’s a mix of bear farming here for commercial and non-commercial purposes. Households that keep bears in large numbers are more likely to keep bears in captivity. take honey,” Mr. Gilbet Sape added.

The World Organization for the Protection of Animals believes that the captive breeding of bears for the purpose of bile is a threat to species as well as to wildlife populations. This does not contribute to crossbreeding because on a small scale bear cubs will be born inbreeding, unable to survive. Those that have been kept in captivity have no chance to live in the wild.

A bear in captivity in Phuc Tho district.  Photo: GC

A bear in captivity in Phuc Tho district. Image: GC

Earlier on May 27, the Environmental Police Department (Hanoi City Police) arrested a registered bear owner in Phuc Tho district with 350 bottles of bear bile. This is the largest amount of bear bile seized in the country so far, the owner of the facility must face a 5-year prison sentence.

Major Nguyen Xuan Tung, Deputy Head of the Environmental Police Department, said that with current regulations, the control of bile extraction activities of captive establishments faces many difficulties. In the above case, the police had to use professional measures for a month to be able to catch them.

“Currently, the household has at most 18 bears, with this number, it is difficult to say that it is a pet, but there must be a commercial element because every day to raise a bear it takes about 100,000 dong for food,” said Mr. Colonel Tung said that he had directed the local police to monitor these facilities.

In addition, the police agency is studying to advise the Hanoi People’s Committee to make regulations to control bear farming more convenient.

Explaining that Hanoi has the largest number of bears in captivity in the country, Mr. Pham Van Mau, Head of the Forest Biological Resources Conservation Department (Hanoi Forest Protection Department), said that in Phuc Tho, there is a farming village. wildlife captive since the 1990s. In previous years, the bear conservation center was small, so the transfer to these units was limited and difficult.

The city is working to eliminate bear farming. In January, the Hanoi People’s Committee issued a directive requesting districts to seriously implement the management and protection of wild animals, in which, in particular, Phuc Tho district was asked to strengthen inspection of animal husbandry. locked up.

Gia Chinh

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