Joining a worldwide campaign against bear farming in China, Taiwanese animal rights activists yesterday started distributing postcards to be sent to Chinese President Jiang Zemin (
The postcards, issued by the Environment and Animal Society of Taiwan (
The campaign is targeting China's 200-plus bear farms, which house an estimated 7,000 bears in cages so small that the animals cannot move, sit up, or turn around, according to the WSPA Web site.
The farmers also do not allow their bears to hibernate, as they would naturally, despite winter temperatures as low as minus 30 degrees in some parts of China, according to the WPSA.
The WSPA is also critical of the way bear bile is extracted. The farmers cut an opening through the animal's abdomen and insert a tube into the body to tap the bile. Between 10ml and 20ml of bile is tapped from each bear twice daily during feeding, impeding the bear's ability to digest food, the WSPA said.
When the bears fall sick or stop providing bile due to failing health, they are often left to die or killed for their gall bladder and paws, the WSPA said.
Bear paws are eaten as a delicacy in China and Southeast Asia. A bear paw dish may fetch as much as 3,800 yuan (US$470) in China's metropolitan hotels, according to the WSPA.
To absorb the overproduction of bear bile, the Chinese government is continuing to promote its use in an expanding array of products.
In 1998, China's bear farms produced 7,000kg of dry bile, of which only 4,000kg was actually consumed. Just 500kg was used for medicinal purposes, while the majority was used for products such as wines and tonics, according to WSPA statistics.
The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora lists China's bears as an endangered species, effectively banning the export of bear products.
However, the WSPA claims that Chinese bear farms have exported their products to other Asian countries, including Japan, the Philippines, Korea, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Singapore.
Seven out of 10 traditional medicine stores surveyed by the WSPA sell bear bile and gall bladders, the WSPA said.
The WSPA said the campaign against bear farming has now spread to 13 countries, including Japan, South Korea, Singapore, India and Thailand.
Malaysian authorities have advised women to wear makeup, not to nag their husbands and speak with a cartoon character’s soothing voice during the virus lockdown, sparking a flood of mockery online. Like many countries, Malaysia has ordered all citizens to stay at home to stem the spread of COVID-19, which, as of yesterday, had killed at least 39,070 people globally. In a series of online posters with the hashtag #WomenPreventCOVID19, the Malaysian Ministry of Women and Family Development issued advice on how to avoid domestic conflicts during the partial lockdown, which began on March 18. One of the campaign posters depicted
Taiwan will negotiate with the WHO about its participation without Beijing’s help and intervention as more countries, including Australia and Japan, are partnering with Taiwan to curb the COVID-19 pandemic, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said yesterday. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in a telephonic roundtable with reporters on Monday also supported Taiwan’s role in the WHO, saying the US Department of State would do its best to assist Taiwan’s “appropriate role” in the world’s highest health policy setting body, Voice of America reported. In a Japan Business Press report published on Sunday, Chinese Ambassador to Japan Kong Xuanyou (孔鉉佑) said
KEEP AWAY: People should wear a mask in places where they cannot follow social distancing rules, the CECC said, adding that it would publish detailed guidelines today The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday announced 16 new cases of COVID-19, including two domestic cases, as it urged people to practice social distancing in public spaces by keeping a distance of at least 1m when outdoors and 1.5m indoors. Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center, said that seven of the new cases tested positive upon their arrival at the airport, four were under home quarantine, one was under home isolation and two were under self-health management, while the two domestic cases sought treatment on their own. The domestic cases are a man in his
HELPING HAND: Taiwan is ready to help other nations and will not sit idly by while the global fight against the coronavirus continues, President Tsai Ing-wen said Taiwan, as a responsible member of the international community, is to offer humanitarian assistance to nations hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic by sending them masks and medicine, as well as sharing with them an electronic system that the government has been using to track down people that need to be quarantined, President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) said yesterday. With the nation’s daily production having reached 13 million masks and soon to reach 15 million, the government is to donate 10 million masks to medical personnel in nations most severely affected by the coronavirus, Tsai said at the Presidential Office in Taipei. The