The owner of a farm in the northern Vietnamese province of Quang Ninh has reported the death of four bears raised on his premises, Vietnamese media said.
VnExpress quoted Bo as saying all the bears on his farm are over 20 years old and recently had eaten less than before.
After receiving a report about the incident, agencies concerned in the province performed autopsies on the dead bears and concluded that they had died of acute pneumonia and inflammatory bowel disease.
An inspection team from the provincial Forest Protection Sub-Department made a report on the deaths and took steps to destroy the dead animals.
Given the recent fatalities plus the deaths of four other bears on Bo’s farm in January, the number of bears there has fallen from dozens to only five.
According to local authorities, a situation in which bears have regularly died began in 2014, with a total of 106 bears passing away during the year.
From the beginning of 2015 until now, 15 other bears have died.
The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development said it is reviewing the situation and will submit to the Prime Minister solutions for the remaining bears on Bo’s farm.
Tuan Bendixsen, the Vietnam director of animal rights group Animals Asia, told VnExpress on Tuesday that he was very sad to hear of the deaths of the four bears, as he and his colleagues have recently provided warnings on raising bears in captivity in Quang Ninh.
He said his organization will send a document to the ministry requesting more prompt and decisive decisions to respond to the situation.
Animals Asia is an organization devoted to ending the practice of bear bile farming and improving animal welfare in China and Vietnam.
More decisive measures needed
Many farm owners have exploited bears for gall to serve tourist purposes, Tuan Bendixsen said, adding that when the bears become exhausted due to over-exploitation, their owners still do not want to hand them over to the authorities for care unless they are paid for such handover.
“If such a situation is prolonged, all bears raised in captivity in Quang Ninh will die, while [their] population in the wild has remarkably shrunk,” he added.
Tran The Lien, head of the Natural Conservation Office under the ministry’s Forestry General Department, said the office and other relevant agencies will identify the exact cause of the death of such bears – whether dying of hunger or poor hygienic conditions or other reasons.
Based on the identification of the cause, the office will submit solutions for saving bears to the Prime Minister for consideration, Lien said.
To date, 19 bears have been raised on three farms in Quang Ninh, VnExpress cited Animals Asia’s statistics as saying.
In September 2014, local authorities, residents, and tourists in UNESCO-recognized Ha Long Bay in Quang Ninh took part in a joint campaign to put an end to bear bile farming.
During the five-day campaign, Animals Asia and the provincial Forest Protection Department handed out 12,000 leaflets – written in Vietnamese, English, Chinese, and Korean – to tourists and locals to raise their awareness of the issue.
Officials from the Ha Long City Police Department, the provincial Department of Culture, Sports, and Tourism, and the International Relations Department all signed to indicate their resolve to combat wildlife crime by protecting bears and saying no to bear bile products.
Đăng ký: VietNam News