The bears of Laos are groaning in pain. Each and every day, bears that were caught in the wild and held in captivity until their dying breath, are drained of their bile using cruel and primitive tools.
Yet little proof exists that that is the case. And even if it were, subjecting wild animals to unimaginable pain, is unacceptable. Bear farms have been around for years. Some governments say they help reduce the demand of wild caught bears but that has proven false. Instead, bears have been continuously hunted throughout the region—all to feed a $2 billion dollar industry.
Although Laotian law protects wildlife from animal cruelty and bans bear bile farming, weak legal framework has allowed the industry to not just continue but to thrive. Without a real crackdown, the illicit industry will continue to grow. Wild bear populations will continue to decrease and captive bears will continue to be harmed.