Ha Noi, November 23th, 2010 – Twenty-two percent of Vietnamese people said that they have used bear bile in the past, according to the findings of the study by Education for Nature-Vietnam (ENV) on attitudes associated with bear bile use in
A total of 3,032 people were surveyed in three cities in
Vietnam: Hanoi (north), Da Nang (central) and (south). The participants were randomly selected and interviewed by telephone to analyze the motivation behind bear bile consumption and evaluate demographic differences between respondents in their attitudes toward the use of bear bile. Ho Chi Minh City
The survey results suggested that:
· Bear bile is considered as a magic medicine that can cure a range of health problems including muscle complaints, bruises, digestive problems or even cancer. Bear bile is mainly used to treat specific health problems (73%). Bear bile is also used for general health improvement (24%) and entertainment purposes (14%).
Hanoi has a much higher percentage of bear bile users than Da Nang or . Thirty-five percent of survey participants in Ho Chi Minh City Hanoi claimed that they have used bear bile in the past, while only 16% of those in Ho Chi Minh City and 15% in said that they have used bear bile. Da Nang
· The percentage of men using bear bile is higher than the percentage of women in all three cities. Almost 1/3 of all male survey participants (29%) claimed to have consumed bear bile in the past compared to 17% of all women surveyed.
· People with higher education levels (college degree or higher) are more likely to use bear bile than people with lower education levels (high schools or lower levels). Bear bile consumption also rises with age and the use of bear bile is different between age groups.
’s bears are in trouble,” says Ms. Vu Thi Quyen, founding director and the author of the report. “Urgent and tough measures are needed to put an end to bear farming and trade in Vietnam .” Vietnam
Based on the findings from this study, ENV recommends following actions:
· A long-term and sustained awareness campaign must be carried out in order to dispel the belief that bear bile is a form of magic medicine. The campaign should promote medical alternatives to bear bile (both herbal and western medicine) and highlight its perceived ineffectiveness as reported by former users.
· Stronger laws and more effective law enforcement are critical to efforts to phase out bear farming and eliminating bear bile consumption. All unregistered bears discovered by authorities should be confiscated and the owners appropriately punished.
· Studies should be carried out to identify major wild populations of bears in
where protection and recovery efforts should be prioritized; an analysis of commercial farming of bears and other endangered species and its impact on species conservation should be conducted. Vietnam
The results of ENV’s study will help authorities and conservation organizations to develop more effective measures to address bear bile consumption and trade in
Vietnam and enhance protection for what may be ’s last remaining bears in the wild. Vietnam
“We need to face a tough choice,” says Ms. Quyen, “
can’t have wild bears and bear bile too.” Vietnam
The full results of the study have been compiled in a report, An Analysis of Attitudes and Bear Bile Use in Vietnam (Vietnamese and English version). ENV wishes to thank the World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA) for supporting this important study.
Bear webpage: http://thiennhien.org/CDBVG/index.php
Bear campaign TV Public Service Announcements
TCM alternatives PSA: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p6KUD2IfVBU
Bear extinction guaranteed PSA: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gC6rDIPlMzA
Say NO to bear bile PSA: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FgkkQ84kmmk
Pop star My Linh PSA: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7z93p8Vlbzo
Younger generation Say “No” PSA: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7R8DJTjCqtY
About Education for Nature -
Education for Nature-Vietnam (ENV) was established in 2000 as
’s first non-governmental organization focused on conservation of nature and the environment through education. Our mission is to foster greater understanding amongst the Vietnamese public about environmental issues of local, national and global significance, ranging from protection of wildlife and natural ecosystems to climate change. We employ creative and innovative strategies to influence attitudes and behavior, not only highlighting the need to protect Vietnam’s rich natural heritage and the living world around us, but also encouraging greater public participation in achieving this important and challenging task. Vietnam
ENV’s efforts to protect
’s endangered bears Vietnam
ENV has been working for more than five years to end bear farming and trade, carrying out a range of activities including investigations and surveys of bear farms, working with authorities to confiscate illegal bears, and combating consumer crimes such as selling bear bile and products made from bears, ENV’s legislative and policy arm works to build support amongst key government decision-makers and leaders to improve policy and strengthen legislation aimed at protecting Vietnam’s bears, and ensure that current laws are enforced effectively, while ENV’s public awareness and education unit carries out campaigns with the aim of reducing the consumption and use of bear bile and bear products. Recent campaigns have include airing public service announcements on TV and radio, campaigning through the media, billboards and advertising on buses, and public events throughout Vietnam hosted by ENV’s mobile awareness unit.