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BearsAll the world' s bear populations are under increasing pressure, not only from the loss of critical habitats, but also due to the global demand for bear parts. They are hunted for trophies, butchered for meat to supply the exotic food trade, and for their gallbladders to supply the vast market in traditional Asian medicines and health tonics.

HSI has contributed financially to help overcome one of the more horrific aspects of the world-wide bear trade problem ' “ that concerning so-called bear ' farms'  in China. On these ' farms'  animals are kept in small cages for their entire lives, while ' bile'  is extracted via a steel catheter from the living bear.
The aim of the project, through the Animals Asia Foundation, is to contribute to Asiatic Black Bear (Moon Bear) rescue; protection in a new sanctuary; and long-term rehabilitation efforts.  HSI funds were used to purchase a complete bear ' den'  at the new sanctuary, including inside and outside rest areas, and other essential rehabilitation equipment.

Coupled with the Indonesian habitat survey work being funded by HSI, for potential Orangutan release sites, a small island may also be used for Sun Bear rehabilitation and care.
To obtain a PDF of the results of a survey by Education for Nature - Vietnam with a grant from HSI
Public Attitudes Towards The Use Of Bear Bile In Vietnam email admin@hsi.org.au or call the HSI office
on 1800 333 737.

Selected HSI/HSUS Bear Protection Activities

  • In cooperation with the Earthtrust in Taiwan, HSI produced one of the first investigative reports into bear farming and trade in China and Taiwan in 1994.
  • In cooperation with The Investigative Network and The Humane Society of Canada, HSI investigated the underground trade in bear parts in Canada in 1995.
  • In cooperation with The Investigative Network, HSI undertook one of the first worldwide investigations in the trade in bear parts in 1996.
  • In cooperation with our parent organisation, The Humane Society of the United States, HSI undertook a State by State investigation into the trade in bear parts in the United States in 1996.
  • HSI has been successful in cooperation with other NGOs in securing strong domestic bear protection legislation in the United States.
  • In 1999, HSI, in cooperation with HSUS, WSPA and the Global Survival Network, investigated and exposed the horrific and illegal bear trade activities in Korea.
  • HSI has been working for many years through the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) to control and prohibit the world trade in bear parts.
  • HSI travelled to Chile in November 2002 to lobby for a world ban on the trade in all bear parts ensuring that the Australian Government supports such a ban.
  • HSI has been successful in helping control and/or prohibit the import/export of bear parts to and from Australia under domestic trade laws we have helped enact, and helped provide Customs with appropriate documentation to help stop traffickers.
  • In cooperation with the Animals Asia Foundation, HSI has contributed significant financial resources to help rehabilitate bears liberated from ' bear farms'  in China.
  • In cooperation with the Wolong Pander Conservation Centre, HSUS/HSI is developing improved education approaches and working with biologists on reintroduction protocols for the Giant Panda.
  • HSI was successful recently in helping to have four polar bears confiscated from a Mexican circus, and we campaign against such circus/zoo/commercial use of bears in Australia.
  • HSI has funded a national bear education program in Vietnam (managed by Education for Nature Vietnam) including trade/media wildlife trade workshops, a national TV and radio adverts, and the publication of a bear conservation book for kids ' “ all geared towards reducing the trade in bear parts. This work has now also included a public survey of bear bile use.
  • HSI has funded a ' wildlife trade hotline'  through Education for Nature Vietnam, which will give the public a direct route to report all illegal trade activities, particularly for bears, which are the prime target for traders.
  • HSI has funded a number of Sun Bear surveys in Tanjung Puting National Park in Kalimantan, Indonesia, working with the Friends of the National Parks Foundation, including the collection of illegal trade activities. Surveys are also looking for suitable Sun Bear rehabilitation sites, and one successful release has already occurred.
  • HSI has been successful working with Senator Meg Lees and the Prime Minister' s office, in securing $10 million over 3 years to support wildlife protection programs in SE Asia and the Pacific. A proportion of these funds will help bear protection activities in a number of countries, both directly and indirectly.
  • HSI continues to seek out important bear protection issues to provide financial support in the Asia/Pacific Region, and to work with the Species Survival Network on international bear trade problems.
  • Our most recent partnership with Wildlife SOS in India deals with the implementation of an integrated and multi-purpose program addressing long-term sloth bear conservation in India. Click here for more info.

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