According to traditional Chinese medicine, bile milked from the gallbladders of bears can be used to treat a number of ailments, from liver conditions to sore eyes. To extract this bile, the bears, which are typically Asiatic black bears, a permanent hole is made in the abdomen and gall bladder. This often leads to infection and causes unbearable pain for the poor, suffering animal.

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This cruel practice often results in the bears committing suicide. In one recent case, a mother bear strangled her cub, then ran headfirst into a wall so as to end her and her child’s suffering. Many bears are often kept in small cages known as “crush cages” to restrict their movements, while some are outfitted with iron vests to prevent the bears from committing suicide by punching themselves in the stomach. This particular bear escaped this fate when she heard her cub crying out in pain just before a hole was punched in its stomach. The mother bear ran to the cub and embraced it, ultimately suffocating it before running into the wall.

These bear farms house more than 12,000 bears, while farm owners believe they’re doing the bears a service by preventing unlicensed bile extractors from killing wild bears. Justify it however you want, but this is a sickening practice.

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