KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — A wildlife monitoring group says Asian countries are ignoring a ban on the cross-border trade of bear bile.
It blames rising demand on the folklore saying there are health benefits from ingesting the bile drained from live animals’ organs.
Anti-smuggling group TRAFFIC Southeast Asia says it found bear bile products in more than half of traditional medicine shops in mainland China, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Burma and Vietnam during a recent survey. Some businesses in Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and Thailand also sold bile.
The group said in a report Wednesday that many shops had a bear bile that originated from other countries, especially China.
The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species forbids bear bile trade between countries.